Assessment of the contribution of East African Community common market protocol to the economic growth of Kenya
Emily Thaara Njuki
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Kenya considers Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as the East African Community (EAC) as a facilitator for economic growth. However, the EAC regional integration process has achieved less than envisioned by EAC Common Market Protocol. The general objective of this study was to assess the contribution of East African Community common market protocol to the economic growth of Kenya. Specifically the study sought to: assess the contribution of the movement of labour and persons on the economic growth of Kenya, evaluate the contribution of the movement of capital on the economic growth of Kenya, explore the contribution of trade on the economic growth of Kenya and evaluate the challenges affecting the implementation of the Common Market protocol. The study employed an exploratory research design to establish the causal and effect between the variables. The population of study included 187 officers in senior management level working at the: State Department of East Africa Community, Directorate of Commerce and 3 companies operating across the East African region listed in the Nairobi Stock exchange. The primary data was collected and analyzed to complement the secondary findings and to confirm pragmatic coherence. The study found that movement of the persons and labour, capital, and intra EAC trade have positive influence on economic growth of Kenya, with trade making the highest contribution. The study findings revealed that movement of capital has negative influence on economic growth of Kenya owing to small capital inflow to Kenya from EAC in relation to the big capital outflow. The study also found that the EAC CMP is engulfed by a myriad of challenges requiring immediate and concerted effort by the EAC partners. The study further recommends further research on the implementation of foreign direct investment as an internationalization strategy by Kenyan firms in the East African Community, and on the challenges in harmonizing non-trade barriers under EAC Market Protocol.