The geographical expression called East Africa today, has had the dream of one day becoming an integrated, economic, cultural, political, and military entity since the very creation of the independent states in the 1960s. Even though the black cultures within are technically distinct, and the African languages differ – this dis not stop the early people within these republics, from seeing real connections between the people.
The political potential of an entity is real. That is why, subsequent regimes have made attempts to form it. But the state of politics in the East African Community block of countries, is anything but close to the requirements of a truly unified people.
Becoming a single-state under a single political administration covering six countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan) would be a monumental achievement, but the countries do not share a common political architecture and ideology today. How the people are governed in these countries are different.
And yet the most interested countries have leaders whop do not conform to civil rule, and have practiced from mild to full scale military dictatorship. Countries like Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi fall in this trap. Where the leaders are not ex-military generals themselves, they use military to codon off political competition.
How then can these leaders participate in a geo-political government, where the people cannot accept dictatorship?
Political integration, bringing together people across the cultures and political persuasions, it mus be under a stable, well practice democracy.The countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo DRC have never understood democracy, and relied on military to take power from the governments and establishing quasi-military government.
Kenya and Tanzania, however poor their democracy may be, have managed to de-link military, security and intelligence forces from full time engagement in partisan politics.
As it stands, this dream is unrealistic under the current crop of leaders.