#UmojaWetu: EALA Sets Five-year Timeline For East African Integration
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has set up a five year roadmap to fully integrate regional economies.
Economic integration in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan will be supported by four pillars: the customs union and common market, which are being implemented despite a few problems, plus a monetary union and a political federation.
The speaker of the EAC assembly, Martin Ngoga, says in the next five years all the legal requirements for the four pillars will be in place, as well as a mechanism to ensure that directives issued by the heads of state summits are implemented.
The plan sets out to move quickly towards a monetary union and create a close political union.
The unified financial system would mean a regional central bank and the adoption of a single currency. However, economic analysts say the plan is practically too ambitious because of the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, continued diplomatic bickering between partner states over trade issues and politics is seen as a greatest hindrance to the plan.
Disputes over exports of sugar in the region, or the current dispute between Tanzania and Uganda over charges for road freight transporters using the port of Dar es Salaam, undermine the kind of harmony needed to integrate the economies in East Africa.