It has been seen as an agreement that will bring economic revolution to East Aftrica – on 1st July 2010 East Africa’s common market came into force with Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda Tanzania and Uganda agreeing to the free movement of trade and labour in a trading area of 126 million people. Kenya can be seen as the hub of EAC and it will no doubt benefit greatly from this common market. However, it is the poorer member states of Rwanda and Burundi that could lose out by Kenya’s larger businesses marginalising the local economy in those countries. Furthermore, the free movement of people might mean other member states might have to cope with the influx of better-trained Kenyan workers and there is already concern in Uganda that the local jobs will be taken over by Kenyans.
The world is ever more being slit up into trading blocs, which dominate international trade negotiations. As many recent trade talks have ended in stalemate, observers believe regional groupings will play an even bigger role – more recently bilateral agreements
between trading blocs have become more common. Therefore it will be vital that Africa has a regional trading bloc that can increase its presence in determining the direction of future trade agreements.