The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organization of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania with its Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30th November 1999 and entered into force on 7th July 2000 following its ratification by the Original 3 Partner States – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1st July 2007.
The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in, among others, political, economic and social fields for their mutual benefit. To this extent the EAC countries established a Customs Union in 2005 and have entered into a Common Market in July 2010, preparations are under for a Monetary Union by 2012 and ultimately a Political Federation of the East African States.
The realization of a large regional economic bloc encompassing Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with a combined population of 133.5 million, land area of 1.82 million sq kilometres and a combined gross domestic product of $74.5 billion, bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects of a renewed and reinvigorated East African Community.
The regional integration process is at a high pitch at the moment. The progression into a fully fledged Customs Union that started in January 2010, the entering into force of the East African Common Market Protocol in July 2010 and the preparation for the Monetary Union as well as the consultations on fast tracking the process towards East African Federation, all underscore the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.
As the EAC is expanding, the need for statistics for planning, monitoring and evaluation has become crucial. The statistics department is currently establishing a statistics database for the region covering economic, social and production indicators. Statistics development is also focused on having regionally comparable data through a harmonization programme that is currently running in the different subject areas. Focus is on priority areas that include: Agricultural censuses with emphasis to the 2010 round of agricultural censuses; Population and Housing censuses with emphasis to the 2010 round of population censuses; Monetary and Financal Statistics; National Accounts statistics; Foreign Direct Investment Statistics; Balance of Payments; Price Statistics; ICTs Statistics and Trade statistics among others. The Statistics depart¬ment annually publishes the EAC Facts and Figures report; and the Trade Report that analyses the flow of trade in the EAC region. The funding for these activities is mobilized within and outside the EAC region. Preparation is under way for the conception and the adoption of a Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics anchored on National Strategies for the Development of Statistics.
Received November 2010