- From Migration Regime to Regional Citizenry: Migration and Identity Implications of the East African Common Market
- Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review
- Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa
- Volume 31, Number 2, June 2015
- pp. 35-61
- View Citation
- Additional Information
I examine the East African common market, taken as a regional migration regime, and draw its implications for intra-regional migration and identity formation. Using desk research, I analyse the common market Protocol’s provisions and envisage the implications of its implementation for intraregional migration and identity formation. The findings indicate that the Protocol grants the right of establishment, settlement, and residence; freedom of persons’ movement, provision of labour and services; non-discrimination and equal rights between Partner States’ citizens and intraregional migrants. From these guarantees, I foresee that “open-border” implementation of these provisions may increase intra-EAC migrations. A rise in intraregional migration may increase cross-border social engagements, mingling, and establishment. This phenomenon may alter East Africans’ views and perceptions about their identity, and engender a regional sense of belonging and identity–an East African Citizenry. I recommend that EAC Partner States fully implement the common market, institute measures for handling negative consequences of increased intra-EAC migration, and deliberately encourage East African identity formations consistent with the objective of people-centred regional integration.