The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization whose mission is to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve quality of life of the people of East Africa, through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investment. The countries that form EAC are the Republic of Burundi, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
As the East African Regional Economic Community (REC), the EAC co-operates, negotiates, and collectively determines legislation and policy that are legally binding at national and regional level. EAC’s ultimate goal is to have a Political Federation of the East African countries. This process is guided by four pillars of integration: Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union, and finally a Political Federation. Currently the first three pillars of integration have been operationalised, and have allowed free movement of people, free movement of goods, and free movement of services within the region.
As provided by the provisions of Article 118 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, Partner States resolved to co-operate with one another in the area of health by establishing the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) as an institution of the Community. The Protocol for the establishment of EAHRC, signed by the Heads of State of the EAC Partner States in 2008, marked a new era of close cooperation in health in the region.
EAHRC is established as a mechanism for making available to the Community, advice upon all matters of health, and health-related research and findings that are necessary for knowledge generation, technological development, policy formulation, practice, and other related matters. EAHRC is the principal advisory institution to the EAC on Health Research and Development (R&D).
The vision of EAHRC is high quality health research for improvement of health and wellbeing of the people of East Africa. The mission of EAHRC is to coordinate, conduct, and promote the conduct of health research in the region, and source, gather and disseminate findings from research for policy formulation and practice.
“Health is Wealth”: EAHRC focuses on improving health of the citizens of EAC as a tangible approach towards poverty eradication. It coordinates efforts that guide provision of safe, quality, affordable, and effective healthcare services in the region. These efforts include establishment of relevant research programs, development of capacity for health, improvement of health research environment, and creation of effective knowledge management platforms.
As part of knowledge management, EAHRC has established the EAC regional health research journal, the East African Health reaserch Journal (EAHRJ).
The East African Health Research Journal (EAHRJ)
Basis for better health policy and practice
The East African Health Research Journal will promote and facilitate:
- Application of knowledge from research to strengthen national and regional health policy and practice;
- Development of human resource capacities and skills;
- Exchange and dissemination of health research information; and
- Advocacy of evidences generated from health research
Furthermore, the journal aims;
- To represent the East African perspective on the health sector;
- To provide information that is relevant to the East African Community;
- To be an engine for knowledge production and dissemination;
- To be a forum for sharing ideas and knowledge;
- To provide an avenue for closing the ‘knowledge gap’ in research in health that exist between developing and developed countries;
- To enable scholarly recognition of professionals and institutions;
- To support career development of professionals;
- To provide a forum for researchers from EAC to be more visible globally;
- To provide direction in setting up health research priorities in the region;
- To contribute to the economic and social development; and
- To provide evidence for outputs of research funding.