The people of the East African Community (EAC) have for centuries recognised that economic integration can lead to long term economic and social gains through increased trade and / or cultural exchanges. The drive to regional integration faces a number of challenges including inadequate and poor regional infrastructure, disparate legal/regulatory frameworks, national strategic priorities that are not aligned to regional priorities, divergent national attitudes and commitment to the integration project and concerns about ceding national sovereignty.
Despite the challenges, all member states of the East African Community are committed to regional integration and have made steady progress towards removal of both tariff and non-tariff barriers and have generally aligned their trade reform efforts in ways that are supportive of regional integration. The trade reform efforts have been accompanied by identification of regional infrastructure development priorities in order to support balanced development and increase intra-regional trade.
EADB is supportive of these efforts through financing of regional infrastructure projects, setting up mechanisms that support public private partnerships to accelerate regional integration and establishment of institutions to undertake regionwide programmes and projects on behalf of governments of the region.