The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Burundi with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. Though the treaty has gone through several hitches and slowing the process, culturally and socially speaking the EAC is opening up with many collaborations and exchange programs in the sector that artists and experts are realizing. These efforts have made locals enjoy travelling through the friendly boarders to discover local get away destinations for holiday and networking to better business.
The Treaty for establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007. The Permanent Tripartite Commission for East African Co-operation was first formed in 1967 as the East African Community. It collapsed in 1977 due to political differences. Following the dissolution of the organisation, former Member States negotiated a Mediation Agreement for the Division of Assets and Liabilities, which they signed in 1984. Full East African Co-operation efforts began on March 14, 1996 when the Secretariat of the Permanent Tripartite Commission was launched at the Headquarters of the EAC in Arusha, Tanzania. Considering the need to consolidate regional co-operation, the East African Heads of State, at their second Summit in Arusha on 29 April 1997, directed the Permanent Tripartite Commission to start the process of upgrading the Agreement establishing the Permanent Tripartite Commission for East African Co-operation into a Treaty. The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community was signed in Arusha on 30 November 1999. The Treaty entered into force on 7 July 2000 following the conclusion of the process of its ratification.
The EAC was inaugurated in January 2001. The Treaty called for a customs union (the framework of which was to be negotiated over the next four years), common market and monetary union and sets the ultimate objective as the birth of a political federation of east African states. Among the key institutions are an East African parliament, a regional stock exchange and a joint court of justice. Recently during a Summit of the Heads of State and Government signed a Protocol establishing the East African Customs Union. This will create a common market of more than 97 million people, with an estimated US$40 billion market potential.