Social and Economic Justice

Social and Economic justice The Customs Union, The Common Market, Monetary Union – instruments designed to enhance socio-economic well-being of East African citizens. CSOs need to monitor progress of their implementation, not only to take stock of gains made but also identify obstacles/challenges & propose innovative solutions. Regional trading arrangements have spread, widened and continue to deepen. But concern is whether they stimulate growth and investment, facilitate technology transfer, shift comparative advantage towards high value-addition, support national reform programs, induce political stability and cooperation or deprive the poor and enrich the affluent. The current economic opportunities have not delivered equal opportunities and benefits across gender and age. Fundamental issues such as lack of representation for women, youth and children in decision making breed inequality and the attendant corruption, polarization and violence, which require complex and long-term solutions. CSOs will engage in monitoring EAC Protocols, Commitments and Programs to assess delivery of growth, improved livelihoods and development. The main concern of Civil Society is people’s well-being – social indicators, living standards, social justice, equity, gender disparities, children’s welfare and wealth distribution. CSOs are concerned whether growth in trade will improve the welfare of the people with regard to the social indicators. While trade improved from … the number of East African living below the poverty line increased from 44 to 53 million. While trade between EAC partner states expanded from $2.2 billion in 2005 to $4.1 billion in 2010, East Africans living below the poverty line increased from 44m in 2006 to 53m in 2010. It is therefore necessary to investigate underlying causes of social and economic injustices. The EA region remains highly vulnerable to low rates of growth, low purchasing power reflecting inequalities, high crime rates and violence in families and among tribes. Addressing these gaps requires the intervention of the CS, to contribute to employment creation so as to improve livelihoods and reduce gender disparities. Overall objective: 3: To enhance the social and economic justice of in the EAC integration processes through citizens’ capacity, building and strong national platforms that effectively engage in political social and economic aspects of the EAC integration process. Strategies for Action on Social and Economic Justice: Promote stakeholder/ citizens’ engagement in the development and implementation of trade related policies at EAC and partner state level to ensure that these process lead to improved livelihoods of the people in the East African region. Enhancing inclusion of the marginalized groups in the EAC integration processes as provided for by the EAC Treaty, by spear-heading the formulation, domestication of socio-economic related bills that empower marginalized groups: youth, women, disabled and PLWHA; Monitoring implementation of the CU, progressive removal of tariffs & NTBs, promoting cross border trade & SMEs, with special support to women in cross-border business through IEC for empowerment and protection against corruption and sexual harassment; Engaging in EAC Action Plan on creative industries (AU/EAC) domesticated at national level and harmonized EAC tax systems to establish a culture of Tax Justice, coupled with promotion of technical and vocational training resulting into enhanced capacity of the EAC workforce to tackle emerging problems and tap into new opportunities in various sectors; Advocating for EAC shared infrastructure projects such as railway connecting the five EAC Partner States and neighbouring countries, electricity and medical equipment. Speeding up monetary union will facilitate trade and tourism as well as increasing the visibility of the EAC at all levels. Advocate for a clear legal framework on corruption and tax system / Tax justice in the region – EAC Organs Institutions- Partner states EACJ etc