Arusha — A MAJORITY of Tanzanians, although in support of the East African Community (EAC), oppose the proposed political federation that would lead into formation of a single federal government and president.
That was revealed in findings from a recent research on ‘What Tanzanians think about the East African Community,’ conducted by the Society for International Development (SID) in conjunction with ‘Twaweza’, which also discovered that 80 per cent of the citizens support fast-tracking of the integration but are not ready for a single government.
Speaking at the ongoing third Regional Civil Society Forum, SID Associate Director, Mr Aidan Eyakuze said despite the EAC being 15 years old, 42 per cent of the interviewed Tanzanians were still not aware of its existence.
“And while many Tanzanians enjoy the idea of moving freely between each of the five East African states, they are on the other hand very wary of consolidating their respective national sovereignty powers into a single federation,” stated Mr Eyakuze.
The report findings also revealed that six out of ten citizens, accounting for 58 per cent of those interviewed, have heard of the EAC and that 85 per cent were in favour of having closer ties to Kenya and Uganda over the other member states.
“Kenya and Uganda are the most popular integration partners, maybe because Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania were the founding EAC states, therefore most people identify more with the two countries than they do with Rwanda and Burundi,” said the researcher.
According to the report, Tanzanians strongly favour things like regional travel using their own national IDs to replace passports by 82 per cent, with single tourism visas also ranking high in their preferences in addition to free movement of labour.
Source: All Africa
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