Regional integration is a major development strategy for the countries of Africa, which all share the aim of continent-wide economic, social and cultural integration by 2028. Trade liberalisation is an important aspect of regional integration. This is to be achieved through regional free trade areas, progressing towards customs union, a common market and ultimately monetary union. The East African Community (EAC) is one of eight regional economic communities recognised by the African Union (AU), and the only one that has a vision of political federation. In the treaty establishing the EAC, the partner states decided to expand and intensify their economic, political, social and cultural integration. Since 1998, German development cooperation has made substantial contributions to the deeper economic and social integration process of the East African Community Partner States.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been assigned by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to provide support to the EAC in four areas:
- Mobility of goods, services and labour;
- Macro-economic convergence;
- Socio-economic integration;
- Steering of the EAC integration process
The programme is scheduled to last three years, from March 2016 to February 2019.
In addition, the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) supports the EAC in developing a quality infrastructure for the pharmaceutical sector.