Rules on governing EAC federation set

Saturday December 14 2013

Proposals on how the EAC will be governed are ready to be presented to the heads of state for adoption.

A new deadline for the conclusion of the East African political federation was set for 2016 in Kampala in November, by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The proposals suggest that the East African federal state will be governed under a two-tier structure of federal and constituent state governments.

The constituent states will remain autonomous on matters that do not fall within the federal government.

The federal state will also be composed of the executive, legislature and judiciary, with functions based on the principle of separation of powers among the three organs.

“The division of powers and functions will be informed by the overriding need to avoid conflict of powers,” said Charles Njoroge, the EAC Deputy Secretary General for Political Federation.


The decision on whether the proposed draft should be adopted and implemented will be known in April next year, when the Heads of State Summit is held.

The new model establishes that the key objectives of the federation should include the establishment of a central authority over the federal territory, and the consolidation of the gain and benefits from the current level of integration.

Under the federal legislature, the model proposes a bicameral house — a Senate and a representatives’ house.

According to Isabelle Waffubwa, the EAC principal political affairs officer, the senate will be elected to serve a five year term with equal representation from each partner state.

The establishment of a political federation, which is the final objective of the EAC treaty, has remained one of the biggest challenges for the five member states.

“The current proposal is that the EAC president at the initial stages will be appointed on a one-year rotational basis just like the EAC chairmanship to give each country an opportunity to govern the region before a clear structure on how to elect the five year term president to govern the region is reached at,” said Ms Waffubwa.