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Abstract

The three East African (EA) countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda have a population of about 95 million people and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 34.2 billion. In recent years efforts has been made among the three East African countries, towards forging economic and regional co-operation by establishing the East African Community (EAC). The premise for economic and regional co-operation has been underpinned for the need for a common market and boost regional trade. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to achieve one of the international development objectives of increasing growth to 7% a year that is required to reduce income poverty. One of the challenges that East African countries need to tackle in the face of globalisation is the ability to participate in international markets. East African countries have to make serious consideration with regards to changing the composition of their exports away from primary products to manufactured exports. Value addition to both agricultural and industrial products is vital to improving the EA economies. This paper examines the composition of East Africa’s economic structure. The aim is to analyse how the economic structure has changed over time, and to assess whether or not East African countries have transformed their agricultural sectors, and what the impact has been on poverty reduction in these economies.

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