The Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community provides for Political Federation as the ultimate end of East African regional integration. Article 123 in particular, explains co-operation in political matters. The article enjoins the Summit of the Heads of State, as the supreme organ of the East African Community, to initiate the process towards the establishment of Political Federation by directing the council of Ministers to undertake the process.
During the 18th Summit of the Heads of State of the EAC, held on 20th May 2017, in Dar es Salam, United Republic of Tanzania, Political Confederation was adopted as a transitional model of the East African Political Federation and the Summit directed the Council of Ministers to constitute a team of Constitutional experts to draft the Constitution for East African political confederation.
A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign states, united for purposes of common action often in relation to other states. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issues, such as defence, foreign relations, internal trade or currency. The nature of the relationship among the member states constituting a confederation varies considerably. The states that join in such an arrangement are called confederate states.
In a Confederation the central government derives its legitimacy from the power granted by the individual member states. Hence the central government is subordinated to the confederate states.
Thus, Uganda has appointed two eminent persons, (retired Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki and Prof. Murindwa Rutaanga) as part of the EAC team to undertake the assignment of drafting the EAC Confederation Constitution.
Objective No. 2 of the Treaty establishing the EAC provides that, “the Partner States undertake to establish among themselves and in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty, a Customs Union, a Common Market, subsequently a Monetary Union and ultimately a Political Federation in order to strengthen and regulate the industrial, commercial, infrastructural, cultural, social, political, and other relations of the Partner States to the end that there shall be accelerated harmonious and balanced development and sustained expansion of economic activities, the benefit of which shall be equitably shared”