East African Regionalism in Uncertain Times
Since the signing of its founding treaty in 1999 and its re-establishment in 2000, the East African Community’s (EAC) integration and cooperation agenda has made significant strides over the previous two decades. However, in recent years, this progress has come up against a series of political challenges including a fragmented response to the Covid-19 pandemic, tensions between national governments, border closures, the endurance of non-tariff barriers and rising economic protectionism. Yet, while the ‘high-politics’ of the EAC has recently been defined by division, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the ideals of regional cooperation continue to endure outside of official summits and directives. This is reflected in the existence of regional private sector and civil society networks, such as the East African Business Council (EABC) and the East African Civil Society Organisations Forum (EACSOF).
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