From the Archives: Reviving East African Community


From the Archives

For the 60th anniversary, AAI will feature a monthly “From the Archives” blog, highlighting historical milestones in AAI and African history. This blog post features verbatim historical documents from AAI’s files and articles from Africa Report, a monthly publication of in-depth analysis and reports chronicling the continent’s dramatic political and economic developments.

Published from 1956 through 1995, Africa Report became the most significant Africa-focused publication in the U.S.


Africa Report, January-February 1984.

The most visible result of the agreement reached by Presidents Nyerere, Daniel arap Moi, and Milton Obote in Arusha in mid-November [1983] was the immediate opening of the Kenya-Tanzania border. Kenya and Tanzania have been the main antagonists in the three-way East African split, and there is optimism that the defunct East African Community (EAC) can be revived now that the border has been opened. Most of the disagreements which kept the three countries apart for seven years disappeared in a few months of not particularly arduous negotiations.

When the slowly decaying community finally split in 1977, each country grabbed all the assets within reach. Aircraft, buildings, and railroad cars were nationalized.

Kenya ended up with most of the East African Airways planes and the bulk of the jointly-owned railroad cars. Each country also sought to distance itself from the common debts that the EAC had incurred.

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