International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
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Effects of Lack of Political Will on Economic Integration in East African Community

Volume 16, Issue 2, July 2015, Pages 465–480

 Effects of Lack of Political Will on Economic Integration in East African Community

Christina Kamili and Gregory Simiyu Namusonge

Original language: English

Received 24 April 2015

Copyright © 2015 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was conducted to examine factors affecting economic integration in the East African Community (EAC) with a special focus on the effects of lack of political will on the economic integration of EAC. Other specific objectives included assessing the effect of leadership on economic integration, evaluating the effect of coalition of the willing on economic integration and assessing the effect of sensitization on economic integration in East Africa Community. The study was conducted in Arusha Region, the headquarters of EAC in Tanzania. The units of analysis were EAC secretariat and others stakeholders from EAC partner states attending different meetings and forums at the EAC headquarters during the study period. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire covering respondents from all five EAC. A total of 89 respondents were obtained though stratification based on country of origin and departments, and later randomly selected from each stratum for interviews. Data was analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics and cross tabulations were employed in the analysis. It was established that the economic integration in EAC is mainly impinged by factors resulting from political will of EAC leaders. Most agreements and establishments agreed at secretariat level were found not to be effectively implemented by political leaders of EAC partner states. It was realized that most articles in the Treaty established EAC are not effectively being adhered to. There is no free movement of people, goods and services in EAC. Poor progress as revealed in relation to free of people, goods and services implies lack of political support of the whole integration process. This also implies that political leaders in the EAC member states are not performing as required and the secretariat lucks strict means to enforce the implementation agreements by political leaders. Lack of trust among EAC people, different economic setups and fear of losing sovereignty in respective states was found to politically affect the integration process. The creation of the ‘coalition of the willing’ was found to have resulted from the notion that some EAC partner states lack political will in implementation of the agreements towards economic integration of EAC, while on the other hand, it was found to have negative impact on the economic integration. Lack of political will among EAC partner states was found to affect fund remittance of EAC. The main challenges in remitting were established that some countries were not remitting funds as required and that some member states do not have enough funds to support own budget. It is recommended EAC leadership at state level and secretariat show revise, monitor and evaluate the implementation of agreements geared towards economic integrations at all levels. Likewise, EAC leadership in each member state need strengthen internal sources of funds so as to fully support EAC with own budget. There is also great need to harmonize the country policies and strategies and legal framework in line with EAC strategies.

Author Keywords: Lack, Political Will, Economic Integration, East African Community.

How to Cite this Article

Christina Kamili and Gregory Simiyu Namusonge, “Effects of Lack of Political Will on Economic Integration in East African Community,” International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 465–480, July 2015.