Author: Muoki, John; Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
The proposed East African Common market protocol will be finalized and signed by December this year.
It will then be ratified by June next year and implemented by January 2010.
The minister for East African Community Amazon Kingi said the region's five member states were negotiating the common market protocol and the customs union to help speed up the integration of the region.
Speaking at the closure of an East African Community (EAC) meeting at the Whitesands hotel in Mombasa, Kingi said the EAC was also negotiating with other blocks such as the European Union (EU), the South African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) in an effort to secure better trade deals for businesses in the EAC region.
The minister said that following the passing of a bill by the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) titled the EAC trade negotiations bill that was awaiting a presidential assent by the member states, EAC will have a commission to spearhead negotiations on behalf of the partner sates with other trading blocks.
This restructuring of the EAC will transform the union into the European Commission model that has close to 37 commissions headed by commissioners.