Page: Regional Treaties
THE CONSTITUTIVE ACT OF THE AFRICAN UNION
THE BANJUL CHARTER
THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
. The current Treaty which was concluded on 30 November 1999 was a revival of the Treaty which had been concluded in 1967, setting up the East African Community but which was dissolved in 1977. Prior to independence, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, operated a common customs union under the East African High Commission, established in 1947, with subsequent revisions, until it was replaced by the East African Community. The three countries had common railways, harbours, an airline, and customs arrangements including a common currency and University Council. The push for sovereign independence led to gradual disbandment of these institutions until the total rupture of the carefully nurtured East African Common Market in 1977.The revival of the Community has given hope to possible closer economic ties and even a political union some day. There is also a movement to include other states in the Great Lakes region such as Rwanda and Burundi. A greater political union would be a solution to the civil strife which has plagued the region. The free exchange of goods and freedom of movement would spur economic development and eliminate petty differences among largely homogenous peoples.
The East African Community Treaty, as currently constituted, aims essentially at reducing trade barriers through tariff reductions for locally manufactured goods and establishing a common customs union for imported goods. The Treaty establishes an East African Court for resolution of disputes arising from implementation of the Treaty provisions. This court, however, is a far cry to the court of the same name which heard appeals from the superior courts of the three territories. The current court has no such jurisdiction.
It is hoped that the three countries will explore and develop those areas where there is common interest and gradually find common ground to unite the peoples of Eastern Africa in a political federation that can generate economic prosperity for the region. Please see East African Community Treaty.