What President Magufuli’s Re-Election Means For East African Community.
President Magufuli re-election in Tanzania has allowed him to consolidate achievements he had implemented for years he has been in office. Observers say he is highly likely to maintain a nationalistic stance by rolling out inward-looking policies that have been a hallmark of the past years of his government. While Tanzania is a member of the East African Community, it has been increasingly seen take an isolationist policy at a time when the East African Community is calling for a political federation and common market.
Regional integration will remain to be a distant priority for President Magufuli. He is likely to take forward the protectionist tendencies he has pursued over the years thereby slowing down the dream of an integrated and united East African Community. This has been exacerbated by his failure to attend the EAC Heads of State Summit. On the international scene, President Magufuli is likely to continue mercantilist and anti-western rhetoric. The failure of President Magufuli’s government to generate consensus on how to achieve East African dream threatens to roll back gains of East African Integration that have been painstakingly achieved over the years. It's an indictment that the dream of East African Integration is far from being achieved. It’s this lack of commitment to the community that has gnawed away an opportunity to fast track the integration process.
Here is the point; for the East African political federation to materialise, there must be a willingness from its political leaders to commit in principle and action in how it is going to be achieved. It’s increasingly becoming clear that President Magufuli’s Presidency is far from committing itself in achieving that. It is this lack of political will and spirit of unity that has failed to manifest itself in the East African Community especially at a time when it is needed most. While it is still too early to write off President Magufuli’s commitment to the regional integration process, his experience has taught to be less optimistic with his agenda for the East African Community.