The main Organs of the EAC are the Summit, the Council of Ministers, the Co-ordinating Committee, the Sectoral Committees, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat.
The Summit comprising of Heads of Government of Partner States gives strategic direction towards the realisation of the goal and objectives of the Community.
The Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers (or simply, the Council) is the central decision-making and governing Organ of the EAC. Its membership constitutes Ministers or Cabinet Secretaries from the Partner States whose dockets are responsible for regional co-operation.
Every year, the Council meets twice, one meeting of which is held immediately preceding a meeting of the Summit. The Council meetings assist in maintaining a link between the political decisions taken at the Summits and the day-to-day functioning of the Community. Regulations, directives and decisions taken or given by the Council are binding to the Partner States and to all other Organs and Institutions of the Community other than the Summit, the Court and the Assembly.
The Council, each year, elects a Chairperson by rotation to serve a one-year term to the office of Chairperson of the Council of Ministers.
The Coordinating Committee
Under the Council, the Coordinating Committee has the primary responsibility for regional co-operation and co-ordinates the activities of the Sectoral Committees. It also recommends to the Council about the establishment, composition and functions of such Sectoral Committees. It draws its membership from Permanent / Principal Secretaries responsible for regional co-operation from the Partner States.
Subject to any directions given by the Council, the Coordinating Committee meets twice a year preceding the meetings of the Council. Moreover, it may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of the Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee.
Sectoral Committees conceptualise programmes and monitor their implementation. The Council establishes such Sectoral Committees on recommendation of the Coordinating Committee.
The Sectoral Committees meet as often as necessary for the proper discharge of their functions.
The East African Court of Justice
The East African Court of Justice (or simply, the Court) is the principal judicial Organ of the Community and ensures adherence to the law in the interpretation and application of compliance with the EAC Treaty. It was established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
Arusha, Tanzania is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court established its Sub-registries in the Partner States, which are located in the premises of the National Courts.
The Court is currently composed of ten judges, appointed by the Summit from among sitting judges of any Partner State court of judicature or from jurists of recognised competence, and the Registrar who is appointed by the Council of Ministers.
The Court has two divisions: an Appellate division and a First Instance division.
For more information, please visit the EACJ website.
The East African Legislative Assembly
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is the Legislative Organ of the Community and has a cardinal function to further EAC objectives, through its Legislative, Representative and Oversight mandate. It was established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The Assembly has a membership comprising of 45 elected Members (nine from each Partner State), and 7 ex-officio Members consisting of the Minister or Cabinet Secretary responsible for EAC Affairs from each Partner State, the Secretary-General and the Counsel to the Community totalling 52 Members.
The Assembly draws the authority to establish its Standing Committees from its Rules of Procedure. It currently has 6 Standing Committees to execute its mandate:
- the Accounts Committee;
- the Committee on Legal, Rules, and Privileges;
- the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources;
- the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution;
- the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment, and
- the Committee on General Purpose.
The EALA Commission which oversees the management of the Assembly is established following the enactment of the Administration of the EALA Act 2012.
For more information, please visit the EALA website.
The Secretariat is the executive Organ of the Community. As the guardian of the Treaty, it ensures that regulations and directives adopted by the Council are properly implemented.
In service of the Community, the Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General, 4 Deputy Secretaries-General, the Counsel to the Community and hundreds of EAC staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the EAC as mandated by the Council.
The Secretary-General is the principal executive and accounting officer of the Community, the head of the Secretariat and the Secretary of the Summit; he/she is appointed by the Summit for a fixed five-year, non-renewable term.
The Deputy Secretaries-General are appointed by the Summit on recommendations of the Council and on a rotational basis. They deputise the Secretary-General and each serves a three-year term, renewable once.
The Counsel to the Community is the principal legal adviser to the Community.