With a kind of hide and seek that is beginning to be the hallmark of the common market talks, there is a likelihood that the dream of reaping from a large economic market of over 90 million people, may fail.
Architects of East African Community (EAC) Common Market saw it fit to ease some of the policies to allow free movement of labour, goods and services.
It is why countries are working around the clock, synchronising their policies to achieve regional integration.
But Tanzania is playing a dodgy game in the negotiations.
Firstly, the country missed out the first negotiations claiming they were attending to domestic duties.
It very well knew its importance, but none of their High Level Task Force (HLTF) members turned up.
The same country pleaded for more time when the Secretariat scheduled the second talks in Nairobi, Kenya to consult before they could commit themselves to issues being discussed.
At the time when the entire community expects Tanzania to further express their commitment, they are only dragging us back to the drawing board even after the region’s parliamentarians joined forces to support the talks.
There are high doubts that Tanzania’s persistent proposals to postpone issues will help with only one round left—December 2008 is the deadline for submitting the report to the EAC Secretariat.
This means there won’t be room for further negotiations yet a lot of crucial issues are being postponed.
Every country in the community needs to recognize that it needs to lose some things for a greater gain in the bigger bloc, otherwise the cause will get lost in our conservative protectionism.