The mistakes that did in the first East African Community

The reason I will write about the disintegration of the first East African Community in 1977, is to show what caused it, and how we can avoid a similar outcome this time round. As I had reiterated before, the three countries that made up the original community were fresh from British colonialism; these were Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. So, at the time, the only commonality they shared was a British colonial past. 

The reason I will write about the disintegration of the first East African Community in 1977, is to show what caused it, and how we can avoid a similar outcome this time round.

As I had reiterated before, the three countries that made up the original community were fresh from British colonialism; these were Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. So, at the time, the only commonality they shared was a British colonial past.

The three countries had their different particularities and each was eager to build their countries in different ways.

As I have said before, the three countries that formed the first East African Community founded it on the institutions they did not, themselves, found.

The three leaders tried to build the community on institutions that were made by British colonialists as means to exploit East Africa for the betterment of the British Government and its people.

The mistakes that we often make as Africans is to forget the real mission of colonialism; exploitation. And by using the very same institutions that the British colonialists used, the first EAC immediate put itself in trouble.

Uganda had monarchies within the Uganda state and the largest and most influential was the Buganda Kingdom headed by the Kabaka.

The first President of Uganda Milton Obote, removed the kingdoms in 1966, with the aim of building a republican nation. Mwalimu J.K Nyerere of Tanzania supported the political theory of African Socialism (Ujaama) while in Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta pioneered tribal-oriented capitalism.

These three political tangents caused a split in the first East African Community because, while there might have been common services like East African Posts and Telecommunications, East African Airlines and East African Rail and Roads, and other organs of similar ilk, the fact that each nation believed in a totally different political and economic policy sunk the first EAC.

Now that we are attempting to revive the EAC into its former pomp, we must first agree on our political dispensation-more especially when we start talking about the East African political federation.

kaikipata@yahoo.com

The author is an avowed Panafricanist and retired teacher.

 

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