Political Federation is described as a form of government whereby individual states agree to secede part of their sovereignty to form a federal Government such as the United States of America among others.
The EAC is anchored in the shared common history of the people of East Africa as well as on their need to safeguard and pursue a common destiny in order to survive in the global arena. The people of East Africa have enjoyed close historical, political, social economic, cultural, lingual and other ties for generations and acknowledge the necessity to move beyond economic integration to a deeper integration driven by political federation.
The establishment of political federation entails the pooling of sovereignty into a single stronger political entity with capacity to better manage the regional resources. A political federation will facilitate regional peace, security, stability, good neighbourliness and peaceful settlement of disputes.
Taking cognizance of the futility of pursuing economic integration without political authority, the EAC Heads of States resolved to examine ways of expediting the process towards political federation at their Summit held in Nairobi on 27th -29th August 2004. Consequently, the so called Wako committee was established to fast-track Political Federation.
The committee presented its report to the Summit in November 2004. The consultations by the Wako Committee were however, found insufficient to make concrete decisions towards the Political Federation. To fill this gap, the EAC Summit directed the Council of Ministers to initiate the process of sensitizing and consulting East Africans on their views on the Political Federation. National Consultation Committees (NCCs) were appointed which carried out assessments in all partner states between 2006 and 2008. The NCCs reports identified the following ‘Fears, Concerns and Challenges’ (FCCs):
- Disparities in the national constitutions and practices of democracy, good governance, anti-corruption, human rights and rule of law;
- Lack of uniformity in doctrine, discipline and accountability among agencies dealing with peace, security and defense;
- Loss of sovereignty;
- Lack of mechanism for participation of national political parties in the federal arrangement;
- Lack of clarity on the model of federation.
The Summit further directed that these FCCs be studied by a team of experts and concrete recommendations made on how to address them. The findings were considered by the 13th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State held in Bujumbura on 30th November 2011. The summit directed the Secretariat to:
- Produce a roadmap for establishing and strengthening the institutions identified as critical to the functioning of a customs union, common market, and monetary union;
- Formulate an action plan to operationalize the recommendations of the report;
- Propose an action plan on draft model of the structure of the East African Political Federation.