The five leaders of the East Africa Community ought to be congratulated for being sober enough to collectively relegate the quest for a political federation to the back seat in favor of a speedy establishment of a Common Market and Monetary Union. Our leaders should also hasten the lifting of trade barriers, cancellation of punitive taxes, ensure free movement of labor and put in place an environment suitable for business in the five countries. Without these, the quest for economic unity will not benefit East Africans if they remain shackled by governments that want to engage in the business of making profits.
The market knows no tribe, boundary, party affiliation or creed. Left free to operate, it only understands one language: mutual satisfaction. Trade openness is a more trustworthy friend of the poor than protectionism. The most successful of the developing countries such as Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong have built themselves up from illiteracy and poverty largely due to their respect of the power of market economics and economic freedom.
East Africans on their part should move with speed and improve their productivity and trade across borders. Let us not wait for politicians to change their minds and or simply talk of unity because of their external focus to developed nations; let us unite in a market in which our personality and products will become a major part of eradicating poverty. Open trading relations especially between private individuals and businesses facilitate peaceful relations among nations. While warfare is often a costly, destructive and unproductive means of obtaining another nation's goods and services, trade is a far more efficient and mutual beneficial approach to obtain the desired goal.
The five East Africa Community heads should be congratulated for choosing business first!
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