African region By The Standard | Updated Mon, July 3rd 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 SHARE THIS ARTICLE Share on Facebook Share on Twitter East Africa cross border Trade photo:courtesy When the founding fathers of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania mooted the idea of the East African community in 1967, their intentions were clear; bringing the people of East Africa together as one cohesive community.
There was more to be achieved by pulling together than in different directions. Given our historical links, it is in the interests of Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania to establish strong economic cooperation laying the groundwork for further political, economic and social integration of other member States like Rwanda and Burundi. Unfortunately, emerging rivalry between Tanzania and Kenya threatens the noble intentions of creating a common market for the East African States.Tanzania has banned the export of unprocessed food to Kenya as a protest against Kenya’s ban on importation of cooking gas and wheat from Tanzania.
Over the years following the election of President Pombe Magufuli in 2015, relations between Tanzania and Kenya have not been at their best. Nothing should be allowed to undermine efforts to improve the quality of the lives of the people of East Africa through improved cross-border trading that allows them to exchange goods unhindered.
The East Africa region’s hope of growing stronger economically, even politically in the matrix of international politics, is in pulling together. Situations that threaten this vision should be dealt with in a climate of mutual trust and respect for each other.