Regional integration slowly taking shape

The train to regional integration is well and truly on its way with the announcement that three East African Community (EAC) partner states, namely; Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda had penned an agreement that will go a long way in ensuring free movement of people across each other’s borders.

The train to regional integration is well and truly on its way with the announcement that three East African Community (EAC) partner states, namely; Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda had penned an agreement that will go a long way in ensuring free movement of people across each other’s borders.

Beginning January next year, citizens of the three countries can use their national Identity cards as travel documents, and in rare cases where IDs are not yet operational, such as in Uganda, nationals can use their voter or student IDs.

To go a step further, the three nations have agreed to fast-track the introduction of a Single Tourist Visa for the region and the establishment of a single Customs Territory.

With these significant developments, the region’s potential can now be unleashed as one entity and bureaucratic red tape will be done away with as slowly but surely as trade barriers are lifted or scrapped all together. That is the whole essence of having an EAC Common Market.

What now remains is to pull the other two member countries of the EAC; Burundi and Tanzania, on board to put an end to the all-talk-and-no-action malaise that has been haunting this region for long.

Regional integration is a win-win phenomenon with the citizens benefiting the most at the end of the day.

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