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Thursday, 07 July 2016

East Africa: Four Lessons From Brexit and EU Fallout for East African Community

Now that the immediate turmoil of Britain's exit vote from the European Union has somewhat subsided, it is a good time to ask what lessons that vote holds for the East African Community. Four stand out. One, a community must be based on values shared by all. Two, a community won't endure if it is not built on the consent of the people. Three, integration is fragile and it takes but the opportunism of a few leaders in a member state to wreck it. Four, the youth must be given voice in integration; if not, the future -- complete with its uncertainties and challenges -- will be shaped by those with the least stake in it, the old. The first, second and fourth are lessons for the Community as a whole and the third, though a lesson for all, is particularly important for Kenya, which has ruined the EAC once before. Let's flesh out each one of these lessons.