East African Community

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

East African Community

East African Community (EAC), organization of E African nations established to promote regional economic and political cooperation. Its headquarters are in Arusha, Tanzania. It was first founded in 1967 by the former British colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, but political and economic conflicts led to the EAC's dissolution a decade later. In 1999 the three countries signed a treaty to revive the EAC, and it was reestablished in 2001.

The EAC encourages cooperation in such areas as trade, immigration, business, transportation, and communications. A customs union came into effect in 2005. Rwanda and Burundi were admitted to the EAC in 2007, and they joined the customs union in 2009. In 2010 a common market was established, and participating countries opened their borders to the free movement of goods, services, and citizens. The EAC also has plans for a single currency for its member states.

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