• Failure of the relations among the heads of state e.g. Amin conflicted with Nyerere due to the 1971 coup and Nyerere vowed never to sit with Amin on the same table.

  • The EAA- the top body of heads of states failed to meet with the rise of Amin.
  • The member states failed to respect the principle of regional economic cooperation and adopted protectionism i.e. not allowing other goods to flow from other countries.
  • The member states failed to expand the membership and yet this had been proposed.
  • The EAC leadership failed to control the bickering among the heads of states e.g. Amin, Nyerere and Kenyatta.
  • Failure to control neo – colonialism
  • Failure to ensure even and balanced distribution of the benefits e.g. Kenya was
    progressing at a faster rate.
  • Failure to punish and reprimand members who failed to pay up their subscriptions e.g.
    Uganda and Tanzania.

  • Economic nationalism and duplication of industries e.g. Uganda had to specialize in
    sugar industry, but Kenya also started, other countries like Uganda and Tanzania began
    producing tyres and set up plants meant for Kenya, lack of harmony in tax policies by 1974 etc.
  • Failure to control corruption in the set up corporations.
  • Member states failed to establish a uniform currency. There was nationalization of the currencies and it presented a problem to members in different countries to purchase products due to failure to accept money as legal tenders
  • Failure to control individualism and prestige of heads of state regarding appointments. Squabbles came up over appointments and expulsions of Kenyans from Tanzania. This
    made projects to break up e.g. in 1976, Airways in each country, all wanted to own a
    bank, university and railway than sharing.

  • Failed to stop misunderstandings over the transport sector. This made Tanzania in 1973 to manage its railway system. Kenya was blamed for developing road transport to weaken railway and Tanzania thought of the Tazara railway.



The EAC existed between 1967 and 1977 and within a decade (10 years) it achieved the

  • The body established a common market in the region that in turn promoted regional
    economic development.
  • The EAC established common services in the region. Tanzania became the headquarters of the harbors cooperation in Dar –es – Salaam and headquarters of community at Arusha, Uganda the East African Posts and telecommunications and EADB in Kampala,
    Kenya had the East African Airways and railways in Nairobi hence decentralization
  • The body ensured and promoted regional unity and cooperation among member states. This guaranteed uniform problem solving in East Africa than what existed in the East African federation.
  • Diplomatic relations were equally promoted in the region member states occasionally met to address their regional problems.
  • The body promoted employment opportunities in the corporations set up like the railway, EADB, East African harbors, the EALA, the EAA that raised the standard of living of the people.

  • The EAC harmonized trade and commerce in its initial stages. This was done through the reduction of the trade barriers among the three states.
  • The EAC promoted industrialization in the region. These included the circle and plain aluminium sheets, radio assembly and manufactures of motor – vehicle tyres and tubes in Tanzania, Kenya produced bulbs. These generated local revenue and employment provision.

  • The body established the East African Development Bank (EADB) that promoted
    balanced development. The bank extended loans to member states for setting up projects, provided technical assistance and solicited for financial support from international organizations.
  • The EAC promoted the easy mobility of East African citizens and goods. The
    corporations established encouraged people to work freely in the three countries e.g. the Railways, Airways, industries, EAA, the Bank among others.

  • The community promoted the spirit of Pan African. The Movement advocated for
    regional integrity and this was enshrined in EAC and problems were uniformly solved.
  • The EAC opened room for the incorporation and inclusion of other states to broaden its market like Malawi, Burundi and Rwanda
  • The EAC promoted specialization among member states. This was reflected in the
    projects set up like the industries of fertilizers in Uganda, Electric bulbs in Kenya
    Airways in Kenya and even the agriculturally based projects e.g. sisal for Tanzania,
    pyrethrum in Kenya and coffee in Uganda.
  • The EAC linked the three countries to the world economic systems or organizations.
    These included E.E.C, U.N.O for purposes of comparison and effective implementation and realization of the set objectives.

  • The body established infrastructure in the region these included the East African
    railways, Airlines, roads to promote development as precursors to harness the resources.
  • The body also streamlined education in the region that increased the literacy rate.
    Regional universities were set up e.g. Makerere University in Uganda, Dar – es – Salaam University and Kenyatta University in Kenya. This allowed all people in the region to acquire education in all without restrictions. Also examination boards e.g. EAEC to regulate performance.
  • The EAC tried to harmonize the currency exchange in the region and all were using the shillings. The level of exchange was checked in the initial stages that limited the
  • The body established the East African court of appeal and councils of tribunals. These helped to check on the excesses of the leaders and promote the proper operation of the organization. (pertaining industrial disputes related to staff)

  • The body too promoted the setting up of the East African legislative Assembly. This was composed of the chairperson, the general secretary, ministers from the partner states.
  • Research was promoted in East Africa through the EAC. This was a branch of the council of tribunals that was in charge of finance, communications, common market and planning and coordinated networks from Arusha.
  • The body tried to unify the fiscal policy in East Africa. This was done by the uniform
    customs duties and regulations between the member states.



  • To strengthen political ties between the three countries
  • To promote balanced regional economic development
  • To promote the adoption of a common currency that would ease commercial transactions.
  • To ease the mobility of resources, goods and services and eliminate restrictions.
  • To promote trade among the member states.

  • To expand the market for the goods produced in the region
  • To reduce the duplication of goods and services among the member states.
  • To foster cooperation and unity among the East African states
  • To mobilize financial support from international organizations and fight neo –
  • To safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of East African states



The East African Community was formed/established on 6th June 1967 after signing the Arusha treaty by the heads or presidents Jomo Kenyatta – Kenya, Julius Nyerere – Tanzania, and Milton Obote – Uganda.

It was under the guidance of Kjeld Phillips – a United Nations Professor and expert in
international relations and the treaty came into effect (operation) on 1st December 1967.


The EAC aims to create a common market, facilitate the free movement of goods, services, people, and capital, and promote economic growth and development in the region. It strives to achieve these objectives through various mechanisms and programs, including:

  • Customs Union: The EAC member states have established a customs union, which allows for the free movement of goods within the region. This includes the elimination of tariff barriers and the harmonization of customs procedures.

  • Common Market: The EAC is working towards the establishment of a common market, which seeks to facilitate the free movement of services, labor, and capital within the region. This aims to promote investment, enhance economic opportunities, and create a conducive business environment.
  • Monetary Union: The EAC member states have plans to form a monetary union with a common currency. This would involve the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies to promote stability and facilitate economic integration.
  • Infrastructure Development: The EAC focuses on developing and improving regional infrastructure, including transportation networks, energy systems, and information and communication technology (ICT) connectivity. This aims to enhance regional connectivity, trade facilitation, and economic integration.
  • Sectoral Cooperation: The EAC promotes sectoral cooperation in areas such as agriculture, health, education, tourism, trade, and investment. Member states collaborate on policy development, knowledge sharing, and joint initiatives to address common challenges and harness shared opportunities.

  • Peace and Security: The EAC recognizes the importance of peace and security in the region. It works towards resolving conflicts, promoting stability, and enhancing regional cooperation on security matters. This includes joint efforts in peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and capacity building in security institutions.
  • Political Cooperation: The EAC encourages political dialogue, cooperation, and good governance among member states. It promotes democratic principles, respect for human rights, and the rule of law as fundamental values in the region.

The EAC Secretariat, based in Arusha, Tanzania, serves as the administrative and coordinating body of the organization. Decision-making is carried out through various organs, including the Summit of EAC Heads of State, the Council of Ministers, the Sectoral Councils, and the East African Legislative Assembly.

Through its regional integration efforts, the EAC aims to foster economic growth, enhance competitiveness, and improve the well-being of the people in East Africa. It seeks to create a united and prosperous East African community that promotes cooperation, peace, and shared development among its member states.



Internal trade involves the buying and selling of goods within a country’s borders.

This type of trade is also known as domestic trade or home trade or local trade.

The goods are either produced locally or imported.

5 Roles of ECOWAS in the economies of member states

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional intergovernmental organization established to promote economic integration and cooperation among its member states in West Africa.

Founded on May 28, 1975, in Lagos, Nigeria, ECOWAS seeks to foster peace, stability, and development in the region through various economic, political, and social initiatives. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, ECOWAS had 15 member states. However, please note that the organization’s composition might have changed since then.

ECOWAS and its Roles in the Economies of Member States:

Wider Market and Tariff Barrier Removal

ECOWAS plays a pivotal role in the economies of its member states by providing a broader market for goods produced within the region. The establishment of a common market has facilitated the movement of goods across borders, enabling member states to access new consumer bases. Additionally, the removal of tariff barriers among member states has resulted in increased intra-regional trade. This action eliminates or reduces the taxes imposed on imports and exports, making cross-border trade more affordable and attractive. As a result, member states benefit from enhanced trade opportunities and greater market access, contributing to economic growth and development.

Trade Volume Boost and Infrastructure Development

ECOWAS has contributed significantly to the improvement of transport and communication facilities that connect member states. Through the establishment of cross-border transportation networks, such as road and rail systems, the organization has facilitated the movement of goods and people across borders, promoting economic integration. This infrastructure development has not only enhanced trade but also encouraged investment and tourism. Moreover, ECOWAS recognized the importance of communication technology and established a special fund in 1986 to support the development of telecommunications, further promoting connectivity and information sharing.

Extended Market for Finished Products

The removal of trade barriers within the ECOWAS region has not only expanded the market for raw materials and intermediate goods but has also secured markets for the finished products of member states. This has encouraged local industries to flourish, as they can now access a larger consumer base beyond their national borders. Member states benefit from increased export opportunities, leading to economic diversification and reduced dependency on a single market.

Technology and Research Collaboration

One of ECOWAS’s roles in the economies of member states is fostering cooperation in technology and research. By facilitating the exchange of knowledge, technical expertise, and research findings among member states, the organization contributes to technological advancements and innovation. This collaboration enhances the competitiveness of industries, improves productivity, and accelerates economic growth. Member states can tap into the collective expertise of the region, enabling them to address common challenges more effectively.

Subsidized Oil from Nigeria

The provision of subsidized oil from Nigeria to member states serves as a significant economic benefit. Nigeria’s status as a major oil producer allows it to offer its neighbors access to essential energy resources at favorable rates. This arrangement not only supports the energy needs of the recipient countries but also contributes to their economic stability. Access to affordable energy resources positively impacts various sectors, including transportation, manufacturing, and electricity generation, thus fostering economic development and sustainability.

In summary, ECOWAS plays a multifaceted role in the economies of its member states. From expanding markets and removing trade barriers to facilitating infrastructure development, promoting technological collaboration, and ensuring access to essential resources, the organization’s efforts contribute to the overall economic growth, stability, and development of the region.


What is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen West African
countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region. The HQs is in Lagos, Nigeria.

Members include Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Mauritania.

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