President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania deserves credit for showing leadership by not pulling his country from the five-nation East African Community, even after it was thrice excluded from key meetings by Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda under the banner of the 'Coalition of the Willing.' Tanzania’s move is a challenge to the ‘coalition’ to include Tanzania on the drawing table and iron out the challenges to integration. Ironing out these challenges successfully will be a sign the EAC is mature and can weather future storms.
The 'Coalition of the Willing' must reflect on why international focus is shifting to Tanzania as exhibited by the recent visit of top ranking officials from China and the US to Tanzania. Pundits opine that Tanzania’s current ratings in terms of growth, return on investments and upholding a democratic culture where human rights are respected cannot be compared to her neighbours like Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda that rate poorly in such aspects.
The 'Coalition of the Willing' should urgently strategize on how to jointly tap into the current shift for the growth of the region instead of sacrificing the gains made by the EAC on the altar of self-gratification, emotionalism and short-term thinking.