Rwanda will join the rest of the East African Community member states this Friday, to celebrate 10 years after the revival of the community.
Rwanda and Burundi joined two years ago after both countries acceded to the treaty in June 2007, to become full members of the regional bloc.
It’s with no doubt, that EAC has made impressive strides towards integration. The speed at which it has progressed surpasses the rate at which many similar groupings advanced.
As the community celebrates a decade of achievements, leaders of member states have promised to sign the Common Market treaty, as a gift for the 10th anniversary.
The operationalisation of both a fully fledged Customs Union next year, and the eventual kick off of the Common Market, mid next year, will mark an important step that should lead the community closer to a monetary union and eventually a political federation.
However, more important to celebrate is the success of trade within the region resulting from the conducive environment created by these remarkable stages of integration.
With a population of 126 million people, the EAC has the potential to emerge as formidable economic powerhouse not only in Africa but across the world. This should be the biggest catalysts for an investment boom within the economic bloc.
Rwanda has shown its real commitment towards this process of integration by harmonising most of her policies with the rest of EAC member states.
The country has harmonized its tax policies with the rest of the region. It has re-adjusted her budget calendar and aligned it to that of the EAC. Different service providers are harmonizing their standards with those of member states.
Rwanda remains the only member to have effectively instituted a policy allowing free movement of labour from within the community.
And many more reforms continue in different sectors within the country, to fully embrace this integration process.
Therefore, as the region looks to the future, the challenge remains consolidating what has already been attained and eliminating any obstacles that would stall this process.