The East Africa We Want - State of the East African Community
The vision of the East African Community is to be a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable, and politically united East Africa. The mission of our unification is to widen and deepen economic, political, social, and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value-added production, trade, and investments. The Fellows of the Africa Leadership Initiative - East Africa, alongside other regional leaders, are committed to and motivated by this vision which underlies everything we do.
Unfortunately, in recent years we have seen the shrinking of democratic space as evidenced by censorship of the press, flawed, rather than free and fair, elections as well as weakness, or outright violent suppression, of opposition. We have also seen lack of trade cooperation and petty rivalries among other issues. The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated many of these issues. The far-reaching scope of the pandemic caught our region by surprise and called on East African leaders at all levels to respond in very uncertain and resource-constrained circumstances. To better navigate the ensuing crisis, we had an opportunity to craft a unified response to bolster our people from the devastating health, economic and other impacts. While the Heads of State, other than Tanzania, did convene on the 12th of May 2020, to isolate priority interventions for information-sharing and to keep trade routes open, each country largely chose to chart an independent path.
The economic recovery of the region will depend on quickly rebuilding our economies which in turn depend on our speedy restoration of trade and other links. Not only must we immediately resolve and regularize any ongoing bottlenecks, but we must also consolidate the lessons from this crisis to ensure that the Community is resilient in future times. This provides an opportunity for us to get back on track with a coordinated recovery plan.
Now is the time for bold collective leadership to realize the full potential of the Community for the betterment of the East African people, economies, and governments. ALI East Africa hopes to create a space for Fellows and other leaders to speak candidly about the problems we face as a Community then collaborate around specific initiatives and ventures. Although we will encourage collaborative efforts to develop and evolve organically, we will organize efforts within the following pillars: Health, Governance, Economic Recovery, and Culture. We will host a series of discussions over 6 months to foster more collaboration and reporting on initiatives taken. It is our hope that the bold leadership of East Africa Fellows and our partners will ignite transformational change across the region. After these collaborative efforts are completed, we will produce a report that will be shared widely on the progress achieved and a proposed roadmap for the future of the EAC. This series of conversations will begin with a discussion on the current state of the East African Community. The aim of this discussion will be to draw out the different drivers of change that Fellows can organize around over the next few months.
Champion : Awel Uwihangwe
Panelists : TBA