…to Looking In…
The protests and their successful resolution through an organ of the EAC highlight two major issues: the limits of a job-poor, export-led economic strategy and the potential for transformative regional solutions. Encouraged and emboldened, EALA proposes an overhaul of regional strategy away from export orientation to focusing on nurturing and growing local demand from within the region, combined with a direct attack on inequality.
The barriers to improving productivity and increasing output for the regional markets are well understood. The new strategy contains specific measures to reduce them, including special skills training, new product standards and preferential access to finance for firms with creative new processes, products and services aimed at local and regional markets.
Private firms and non-profits collaborate to deliver social services using performance-based contracting with local, national and regional governments. Regular customer satisfaction poling provides immediate feedback on their performance, keeping them all visibly accountable and responsive to their customers’ needs.
In politics, candidates for local and national elections who do not include compelling ideas on deepening regional integration, that focus on connecting the local resources with the regional opportunities, find themselves defeated by their more pro-EAC rivals.