EAC Partner States need to harmonise 100 laws to conform to the Common Market Protocol: Arusha - Tanzania

17 Jul 2018

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 17th July 2018: Over 100 laws in the six East African Community Partner States national legislation needs to be reviewed to conform to the EAC Common Market Protocol.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo noted that harmonization of Partner States relevant national laws to conform to the Protocol was a monumental task that would require lots of time and resources.

Hon. Bazivamo said that the concerned laws relate to the provisions of the protocol, namely; free movement of goods, free movement of persons, free movement of labour, free movement of capital, free movement of services, the right of establishment and right of residence.

Hon. Bazivamo said that despite these challenges, the Community had made significant progress in terms of promoting the cross-border movement of skilled labour and cited the signing of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA's) among various professionals.

The DSG disclosed that MRA's had already been signed among Accountants, Architects, Engineers and Veterinarians.

“Negotiations of MRA's for Land Surveyors and Advocates were concluded and are awaiting signing by competent authorities. The negotiations of the MRA for Pharmacists have commenced,” said Hon. Bazivamo.

The DSG said that the main barriers to the free movement of persons in Africa were the mind-sets based on the geographical boundaries drawn by the colonial powers and regulations put in place by countries concerning immigration, customs and other cross-border procedures.

“Sensitization of people at all levels is therefore necessary at all levels on the need to knock down these national barriers,” he said.

Hon. Bazivamo was speaking during a courtesy call by a team from the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) which is based in Nairobi, Kenya. The IGAD led by ICPALD Director, Dr Solomon Muchina Munyua, was on a two-day benchmarking mission to the EAC Headquarters specifically on the Free Movement of Persons. The Mission also sought to understand the EAC policy position and practice on transboundary pastoralism and cross-border transhumance.

In his remarks, Dr Munyua disclosed that IGAD was currently working on protocols on Transhumance and the Free Movement of Persons, and thus the need to benchmark with the EAC whose membership and nationalities overlap with those of IGAD.

“The people of Eastern Africa share languages and culture across borders, for instance, the Digo, Maasai, Kuria and Luhya. Integration brings with it fears of the loss of jobs and resources. We are keen to learn from EAC on how it has managed to overcome these barriers,” said Dr Munyua.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at]

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified