The challenges of regional integration: a case study of the East Africa Community 2000-2010
This study seeks to find out the challenges that are faced by regional integration arrangements in their attempts to integrate. In particular the research focuses on the East African Community as a case study. The interest to carry out the study arose from the fact that despite many attempts at regional integration in different comers of the African continent, deep and lasting integration has not happened. The study in particular focuses on the challenges of forming a federation within the EAC and the socio-economic and political challenges that will need to be overcome to achieve political federation. The study uses the theoretical frameworks of neo functionalism and the relatively newer one of inter-govemmentalism which lay the fundamental foundations for regional integration in most regional economic communities. Both theoretical frameworks can be seen to be the basis on which the East African Community is founded. Besides the theoretical frameworks the research also looks into the different approaches to regionalism or regional integration that have been developed and that aim to explain how different regions join regional blocs. The approaches range from, first generation regional integration to third generation regional integration are not always mutually exclusive and may overlap. These approaches are helpful in better understanding the motives that states have in entering into regional arrangements. The research also focuses on the European Union, which is widely accepted as the most successful supranational organization, having grown from a custom union and on its way to harmonization of all policies and becoming a federation. Further explored in this paper is also an overview of the different regional arrangements that are in existence in Africa and the contributions that pan Africanism has made to the development and growth of regional integration on the continent. Lastly the paper discusses the challenges of regional integration attempts in East Africa. The focus is on both the historical challenges that were faced during the first attempts at regionalism in the post independence era when the three original partner states wanted to federate and the current challenges faced from its second inception in 2000 up to date.