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The East African Community leads in regional trade integration

Published on April 12, 2016

The East African Community (EAC) garners highest marks for regional trade integration among African Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

This is according to the recently released Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) Report. The ARII is a collaborative effort between the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) that collect data on the impacts of regional integration. The index benchmarks eight RECs recognized by the African Union on five dimensions: regional infrastructure, trade integration, productive integration, free movement of people and financial and microeconomic integration.

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According to the index, the EAC, comprising Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi (South Sudan has also recently joined) scored the highest among the eight in terms of trade integration, scoring 0.78 out of the highest possible score of 1 on the index. As measured by the index, trade integration measures four indicators: level of customs duties on imports, share of intra-regional goods exports (% of GDP), share of intra-regional goods imports (% of GDP) and share of total intra-regional goods trade (% total of intra-REC trade).

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The Hub, through its Trade Policy and Regulatory Reform component, continues to work to enhance regional trade in the EAC. The component is active in work to do with implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, addressing Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and harmonizing Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures across the region.