The Impact Of Regional Integration On Economic Growth And Development: A Case Study Of The East African Community (EAC), 2001-2010
Abstract This study addresses the efficacy of the East African regional integration process with regard to the realization of the economic growth and development of East African member states under the auspices of the EAC. The major postulation is that regional integration leads to economic growth and development. It focuses on the main aspects of the integration that is the economic growth and development, trade and investment. The four stages of the EAC integration and in particular the customs union and common market which have since come into effect are discussed in detail. It addresses the key findings from the study and presents the key recommendations on how obstacles to the integration process can be overcome. This is generally applicable to other regional integration schemes particularly in Africa. The delicate question of the possibility of selected member states deriving more benefit from the integration is addressed. The study also addresses the theoretical aspects of regional integration and heavily borrows from the functionalism theory and the customs union theory. With regard to key recommendations, the issues of the need for civic education for citizens n the partner states, the need for effective monitoring and evaluation of the progress in the integration process are addressed. The findings also push for the need for greater stakeholder involvement to attain effective policy harmonization and coordination. The need for more focused studies on other aspects of the integration has also been pointed out.
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