East Africa: Where Ambition Meets Reality

Sep 16, 2016 | 08:00 GMT

East Africa has been blessed, at least for the past decade, with a level of political stability rarely found on the African continent. Amid this period of relative calm, the East African Community (EAC) has enjoyed unbridled growth and rapid progress toward fulfilling its mission to merge its members -- Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and, most recently, South Sudan -- into a single, federated state. But despite its successes, the bloc may have a hard time turning its aspirations into reality. The common market that the EAC established on paper has been rendered feckless in practice by its members' unwillingness to play by the rules. Some EAC states have more to gain from deeper integration than others, and with the region's history of colonial rule, few East African countries are eager to cede their hard-won sovereignty. These concerns, along with long-standing political differences, will stand in the...

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