Recently, there has been intense media reports (mostly coming out of Kenyan media and bloggers) pressuring Tanzanian government to ditch SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) in favor of EAC (East African Community).
Tanzania is also being pressured to rejoin COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) after they pulled out in 2000 to avoid what it termed as duplication of efforts that consequently led to high membership costs. Recently, some industrialists and traders in Tanzania were also reported as advocating for the country’s return to COMESA.
Observing few responses from Tanzanians to such pressures, I engaged in a friendly and healthy debate with a Kenyan blogger from Business in Focus in an attempt to outline Tanzania’s position (my views are strictly personal). The Kenyan blogger, going by the name “branded”, had posted a stinging article claiming that Tanzania’s negative public opinion against fast-tracking East Africa Federation was “diminishing chances of regional cooperation”. He made further incendiary accusations, claiming that “having strong ties with SADC makes TZ unlikely to represent the interests of the EAC region” and went on blame Tanzania for pretty much everything under the sun when it comes to regional cooperation issues.
What is your take? Do you think Tanzania should quit SADC and rejoin COMESA?