(Ecofin Agency) - This growth in intra-regional trade can be primarily attributed to the continued elimination of non-tariff barriers, the harmonization of product standards, and the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the regional bloc.
Trade among the member states of the East African Community (EAC) reached a record $10.9 billion in 2022, up 12.1% from the previous year. Peter Mathuki, Secretary-General of the EAC, revealed the increase on August 16, 2023.
Speaking at a press conference, Mathuki mainly attributed the growth in intra-regional trade to the continued elimination of non-tariff barriers, the harmonization of product standards, and the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the regional bloc in March 2022.
He also explained that trade between the EAC’s member states of the bloc could contribute up to 40% of the region's total trade, compared to only 15% in 2022.
The East African Community is headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania. It has seven members: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, and the DRC. Spanning an area of about 4.8 million square kilometers, the regional bloc pools a market of 300 million consumers and has significant natural resources.
The EAC is one of the most integrated regional economic communities in Africa. It functions as a customs union, with most goods and services being exchanged duty-free between member states, and having a common external tariff with third countries. People, goods, services, and capital can move freely within the shared market.