A Critical Analysis Of The Role Of Public Participation In Regional Integration: A Case Study Of The East African Community, (2001-2015).
This study focused on the role of public participation in regional integration taking the East African community as a case study between the periods of 2001 – 2015. Informing the public, consulting the same public, involving, collaborating and empowering the general public to make decisions exemplified public participation while the customs, union, common market, economic union and political federation exemplified regional integration. The central question in this study was to what extend does the EAC involve the public in its affairs and what role does play in enhancing the EAC? The key objective was to critically analyze the role of public participation in enhancing the EAC, the study adopted liberal institutionalism theory and it was conducted using the descriptive survey design, data was collected using two sources, the questionnaire and interviews. The study concluded that the practice of public participation in the East African Community is not very well carried out and this has greatly affected the progress of the EAC integration process. This study concludes that the current EAC has not yet fully embraced meaningful public participation in practice, The study recommends that the EACT which establishes the community be amended and the institutions there in like the Secretariat, EALA, EACJ be strengthened and made independent of the partner states, this institutions in turn will cause a spillover effects to the member states and one of the effects will be enhancement of democracy and public participation from the grassroots, secondly that massive public sensitization program me should be rolled out using both print and broadcast media, and social media as well so as to raise the awareness levels of the general public finally the researcher recommends that a further study be conducted to determine the best public participation strategies that can enhance public participation. This study availed a host of public participation strategies but did not look at the cost implications of each strategy.
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