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Definition: East African Community from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Economic alliance established by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in November 2000. It has the goal of forming a Customs Union by 2004, with no internal tariffs, common external tariffs, and free movement of goods, labour, and capital. The aim is to encourage foreign investment in the region. As Kenya had a more established industrial base, Tanzania and Uganda were given a period of adjustment.

At the first meeting in January 2001, EAC members expressed the hope that Burundi and Rwanda would join the alliance.

Summary Article: East African Community
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(EAC), organization of E African nations established to promote regional economic and political cooperation. Its headquarters are in Arusha, Tanzania. It was first founded in 1967 by the former British colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, but political and economic conflicts led to the EAC's dissolution a decade later. In 1999 the three countries signed a treaty to revive the EAC, and it was reestablished in 2001.

The EAC encourages cooperation in such areas as trade, immigration, business, transportation, and communications. A customs union came into effect in 2005. Rwanda and Burundi were admitted to the EAC in 2007, and they joined the customs union in 2009. In 2010 a common market was established, and participating countries opened their borders to the free movement of goods, services, and citizens. The EAC also has plans for a single currency for its member states. In 2016 South Sudan was admitted to the EAC. The EAC has had more success than most regional African free-trade agreements in reducing barriers to trade.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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