Promotion of peace and security in the East African Community (EAC)

Project description

Title: Promotion of peace and security in the East African Community (EAC)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda
Lead executing agency: Secretariat of the East African Community (EAC) with headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania
Overall term: 2009 to 2014

Context
GIZ has been supporting the regional integration process in East Africa ever since the revival of the East African Community (EAC) in 1996. The EAC aims to achieve prosperity, competitiveness, security, stability and political unification in East Africa. The partner countries – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi – aim to create a political federation that would expand and reinforce economic, political, social and cultural integration. People's quality of life is to be improved through increased security, greater competitive capacity, value added, trade and investment.

The EAC has recognised that economic integration can succeed only if peace, stability and security are established throughout the region. It therefore focuses its efforts on crisis prevention, conflict resolution, small arms and light weapons control, and the promotion of good governance. These efforts are being hindered, however, by weak institutional structures within the EAC secretariat, including in particular, the lack of a Directorate for Peace and Security and inadequate implementation of regional strategies and standards within the partner countries.

Objective
The EAC Secretariat is in a good position to unite the partner countries in implementing joint activities to achieve peace and security and provide support for implementing these activities.

Approach
The programme combines technical and political advisory services to the EAC Secretariat on organisational development and management consulting. This strengthening of interaction and collaboration between the regional and national levels as well as among regional organisations is essential for establishing a coherent regional structure for peace and security. The programme helps to implement the goals listed in the EAC treaty in the areas of peace, security and good governance and to implement the regional strategy for peace and security, thus fostering political integration.

The programme's target group is the inhabitants in EAC member countries. Women, children and minorities generally suffer particularly from the impact of armed conflict and insecurity. Quelling violent conflict and promoting good governance are of particular benefit to them.

The component ‘Small arms and light weapons control in East Africa’ was completed in December 2012. The measure is now concentrating on support for the new EAC Directorate for Peace and Security to be established after the signing of the EAC Protocol for Peace and Security in February 2013. The programme is being implemented in close cooperation with another priority programme: 'Promotion of the EAC Integration Process'.

Results achieved so far
With German support, the issue of light weapons control has achieved a prominent position on the regional political agenda. Within the four regional organisations that focus on peace and security – the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) – the EAC has assumed a leading role in policy and strategy development for controlling light weapons.

The following results have therefore been achieved so far:

  • In cooperation with the Regional Centre for Small Arms (RECSA) (with headquarters in Nairobi), military and police weapons are being marked and registered throughout the five partner countries.
  • The partner countries are receiving direct support for controlling light weapons according to the guidelines of the 2002 Nairobi Protocol.
  • All of the national plans for light weapons control include gender mainstreaming components and are designed to promote participation by civil society.

Contact

Miriam Heidtmann
miriam.heidtmann@giz.de