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Common Market

What is the Common Market?

The Common Market is the second Regional Integration milestone of the East African Community (EAC), which has been in force since 2010, in line with the provisions of the EAC Treaty. It follows the Customs Union, which became fully-fledged in January 2010.

To accelerate economic growth and development, it means that the EAC Partner States maintain a liberal stance towards the four Freedoms of movement for all the factors of production and two Rights between themselves. These Freedoms and Rights include:

  • Free Movement of Goods
  • Free Movement of Persons
  • Free Movement of Labour / Workers
  • Right of Establishment
  • Right of Residence
  • Free Movement of Services
  • Free Movement of Capital

Underlying the EAC Common Market are operational principles of the Community, namely:

  • Non-discrimination of nationals of other Partner States on grounds of nationality;
  • Equal treatment to nationals of other Partner States;
  • Ensure transparency in matters concerning the other Partner States; and
  • Share information for the smooth implementation of the Protocol.


Sectors under the Common Market:

Agriculture and Food Security
Enhancing food security and rational agricultural and livestock within the Community through harmonisation of agricultural policies as well as joint programmes for efficient and effective production.
Culture and Sports
Embracing Culture and Sports as both enablers and drivers of a people-centered integration agenda through the promotion and enhancement of diverse sports activities and the promotion and preservation of our culture is of paramount importance.
Enabling the EAC Partner States to enjoy economies of scale, with a view to supporting the process of economic development through the establishment of a Single Customs Territory.
Education, Science and Technology
Recognising the fundamental importance of education, science and technology in economic development through harmonized curricula, examination, certification and accreditation institutions; joint establishment and support of scientific and technological research and identifying and developing centres of excellence in the region.
Adopting policies and mechanisms to promote the efficient exploitation, development, joint research and utilisation of various energy resources available within the region.
Environment and Natural Resources
Managing and sustaining the eco-systems and natural resources of the Community by preventing, arresting and reversing the effects of environmental degradation as well as management and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources.
Gender, Community Development and Civil Society
Adopting common approaches towards the disadvantaged and marginalised groups, including women, children, the youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities aimed at employment creation, poverty alleviation and improving working conditions.
Undertaking joint action towards the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases and to control pandemics and epidemics of communicable and vector-borne diseases that might endanger the health and welfare of the residents of the Community and cooperating in facilitating mass immunisation and other public health community campaigns.
Immigration and Labour
Accelerating economic growth and development of the Partner States by facilitating the free movement of persons and labour through the adoption of common policies and procedures.
Industrialisation and SME Development
Improving the competitiveness of the industrial sector so as to enhance the expansion of trade in industrial goods within the Community and the export of industrial goods from the Partner States aimed at achieving structural transformation of the economy, fostering the overall socio-economic development in the Partner States.
Coordinating, harmonising and complementing transport and communications policies; improving and expanding the existing transport and communication links; and establishing new ones as a means of furthering the physical cohesion of the Partner States, so as to facilitate and promote the movement of traffic within the Community.
Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development
Providing an enabling environment for the private sector to take full advantage of the Community through the promotion of a continuous dialogue with the private sector to help create an improved business environment and enhancing investor confidence in the region.
Peace and Security
Fostering and maintaining a conducive atmosphere that is a pre-requisite to social and economic development through co-operation and consultations on issues pertaining to peace and security of the Partner States.
Tourism and Wildlife Management
Collectively promoting and marketing the Community as a Single Tourist Destination while conserving and ensuring sustainable utilisation of wildlife and other tourist sites.
Rationalising investments and the full use of established industries to promote efficiency in production, as well as harmonising trade policies, investment incentives and product standards, with a view to promote the Community as a single investment area.

Key Initiatives under the Common Market:

EAC is benefiting from AGOA, the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
Four EAC Partner States receive full duty-free and quota-free access to the EU for all their exports with the exception of arms and armaments.