The current EAC regional integration initiative has its origin in the Mediation Agreement for Division of Assets and Liabilities of the East African Community which collapsed in 1977.
In that Agreement, signed on 14 May 1984, there was a provision that the three East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), could explore areas of future co-operation. It was on that basis that the three Heads of State held a Mini – Summit on the sideline of the Commonwealth Heads of Government and States (CHOGS) Summit held in Harare in November 1991, during which they announced their intention to re-launch the East African co-operation.Later on 30 November 1993, the Heads of State signed the Agreement on the establishment of the Permanent Tripartite Commission for East African Co-operation. However, full fledged co-operation took root after the launching of the Secretariat in Arusha on 14 March 1996.At the on-set, East African Co-operation generally viewed itself as a fast track for regional integration in the Eastern and Southern African region, particularly as fast tracking the COMESA integration initiative. This was out of the fact that the 3 Member states were also members of COMESA and at that time were trading under the COMESA trade regime. Within the COMESA trade regime, Kenya by 1999 had reached a tariff reduction of 90 per cent while both Tanzania and Uganda were at 80 per cent. Therefore, Kenya was granting the other two sister states preferential market access at 90 per cent tariff reduction.