East African Common Market
East African Common Market
a common tariff union joining the Republic of Uganda, the Republic of Kenya, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The East African Common Market was formed in 1922 by the British colonialists, who included in it the colony and protectorate of Kenya, the protectorate of Uganda, the mandated territory of Tanganyika, and the sultanate of Zanzibar. The goal of organizing the union was to create conditions for the development of large agricultural production by European plantation owners and farmers in Kenya, the country with the most favorable climate and character for the Europeans. To this end a common customs tariff was instituted, based on the principles of protectionism in relation to the food goods produced on the colonists’ farms. In addition to the common customs tariff, the East African terri-tories had a single currency-finance system, income tax, and excise tax. In 1948 the colonialists strengthened the economic interdependence of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika by establishing the East Africa High Commission, which became the East African Common Services Organization in 1961.
In 1961, trying to stall the granting of independence to Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar, Great Britain proposed that the economic organization be supplemented by a political federation in order to solve the question of liberation from the colonial yoke after the formation of the federation. The African peoples frustrated this plan of the colonialists. Tanganyika achieved independence in December 1961, Uganda in October 1962, and Kenya and Zanzibar in December 1963.
Having won their political independence, the countries of the East African Common Market took control of its institutions for mutually advantageous economic cooperation. This was made easier by the economic links forged during the colonial period, the mutual supplementation of natural resources, and geographical position (Uganda has no outlet to the sea and almost all its external commerce is carried out through the Kenyan port of Mombasa; a significant number of Tanganyika’s external commercial links are likewise made through Kenya). Tangible results have been achieved on a series of problems of common economic politics. On Dec. 1, 1967, an agreement went into effect creating the East African Community. The agreement envisioned the formation of a common market and a tariff union, as well as coordination of the economic and financial politics of the participating countries; it was signed in Kampala (Uganda) by the presidents of these countries for a period of 15 years. In order to give financial and technical aid to the partner countries for mutual industrial development, the East African Development Bank was created at the same time in Kampala (Uganda), with a common capital of £20 million. The investment fund of the bank will be distributed by calculating the degree of industrial development of the countries: 38.75 percent for the development of Uganda and Tanzania and 22.5 percent for the development of Kenya.
In 1968 a number of African countries, including Ethiopia, the Republic of Zambia, the Somali Republic, and the Republic of Burundi, expressed a desire to join the East African Community.
V. P. PANOV