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Critical Analysis of the Decision to Adopt a Confederation in the East African Community

Abstract: The aim of this paper was to do a critical analysis of the decision to adopt a confederation in the East African Community. The study sought to examine the factors that contributed to the decision to adopt political confederation in the EAC, find out the views of EAC elites on the value of a confederation for political federation and determine the consequences of the decision for governance in the EAC states. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey which is best suited for a single point of data collection for each participant. The study found that the decision to adopt a political confederation was based on the need by EAC member states to first address the underlying fears and concerns highlighted the findings by the Wako Committee. These include Loss of Sovereignty Fears and Concerns Ideological differences Regional disputes, Disparities in Governance, Lack of Clarity on Model of Federation, Fear of Loss of Land, and Economic fears like loss of revenue, loss of jobs for members of professional bodies, loss of investment and employment, loss of market. This study also found that that a confederation if adopted in the EAC will have little impact on governance in the individual EAC member states. This is because confederation will simply be voluntary associations of independent member states which will not provide for an effective executive authority. The lack of viable central governance implies that the same norm of lack of rule of law, corruption, human rights violations, lack of transparency and accountability will still be the norm in the EAC member states. Despite the above shortcomings, the elites within the EAC insist that a political federation is possible and the best way to go for EAC. Key terms: Confederation and East African Community
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