The Negotiation For The Integration Of The East African Community (1996-2004)
This paper discusses the negotiation for integration with reference to the East African Community in the period 1996-2004. The purpose of this study is to show the relationship between negotiation and integration. The study considers negotiation to be an integral part of the integration process and the determining factor in the regional integration of states. How issues were handled in each phase of the negotiation process determines the viability of the created bloc in terms of longevity and function. In this regard it is important to understand the nature and the context in which the process made an impact on the revival of the East African Community. Integration of the second East African Community was possible because negotiations among the partner states were held in order to diminish the dilemma they faced, regarding divergent views about shared and individual interests. This study will therefore revisit the negotiations that led to the replatforming of the defunct establishment, in order to return to cooperation and integration. It focuses on the period 1996- 2004 where a lot of negotiation took place with the aim of reviving cooperation and integration in the region, and creating a fully operational customs union. It will show the link between negotiations and regional integration by analyzing how the negotiation process facilitated the integration. The study is undertaken with the conviction that regional integration transcends all aspects of human society. The relevance of the study lies in the realization that the world is becoming globalized and Africa as a region and East Africa as a sub-region needs to cooperate in order to benefit from this process of globalization. A study that deals with understanding the contribution of negotiation to cooperation and subsequent integration for mutual and shared interests in all spheres is thus relevant and timely.
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