Factors influencing communication among stakeholders in the integration process of the East African community
The study sought to analyze the factors influencing communication among stakeholders in the integration process of the East African community. The main variables of reference for the study were; political, economic, social, technical, ecological and legal factors that prevail in the region. This model formed the framework within which the study was examined. This study examined four main stakeholders in the East African Community integration process thus; the East African Community Secretariat, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Community Business Council. Data for analysis was collected through structured questionnaires administered to the personnel in the technical teams that are involved in the EAC integration process at Arusha. The study analyzed factors influencing communication like; the commonly used languages, channels of communication, levels of political integration, economic integration, socio-cultural, technical and legal relationships that would influence the integration process. Among the languages examined; English ranked as the most preferred. The most preferred means of communication was road transport. The respondent cited the radio and television as the most effective cross-border mass media channels. Respondents would prefer political integration based on common monetary unit. The study recommends that member countries should review their cultural affiliations and priorities before adopting the process of political federation. A viable communication infrastructure and a strong legal framework should be pursued as a high priority to support the integration process. To achieve the highest level of success, the study recommends that the EAC should seek a common language in the region to enhance communication between the member states.