Making Regional Integration In The EAC Work

Although there has been rapid progress towards integration of the East African Community (EAC), our research shows that there are still significant constraints to the implementation of the Customs Union (CU) and that the trade impacts associated with this process so far are small. The process of regional integration is important for the economic development of this region so it is imperative to redress the current barriers that exist in establishing the CU and common market (CM). Arguably, the small trade impacts found can be attributed to non-tariff barriers (NTBs), the small size of these economies and the deep specialization in primary commodities in trade with the rest of the world. This briefing uses evidence from research on the regional integration process of the EAC commissioned by TradeMark Africa and proposes some priority areas for policy intervention to address these challenges.