Regional integration is being attempted across Africa but, East Africa is at the lead of this process. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has a lead in some areas, such as power sector cooperation, but the EAC is aiming at a far deeper form of integration within a relatively short period of time.
There are few examples of economic integration in Africa to provide any compelling evidence of how the EAC and the customs union will affect the businesses and people of East Africa. However, the US is always cited as the supreme example of how a huge economy with a high population and few internal trade barriers creates prosperity. However, the jury is out on the ability of economic integration to generate growth in Western Europe. But, although it may not have created jobs within the EU, it certainly has helped provide the longest unbroken period of peace in Western European history; and peace and stability certainly help to engender economic growth.
Nonetheless, there is some proof to advocate that increased competition will lead to improved services, better infrastructure and higher levels of growth. If increased competition is indeed part of the answer to Africa’s economic woes, then the EAC should have a positive impact, particularly as the competition in question is to be provided by other African businesses rather than firms from outside the continent.