Development of Regional Integration Research at the TGCL

The establishment of the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies (TGCL) was premised on the vision of training young lawyers to assume leadership positions in various sectors by training them in areas such as research. During the inauguration of TGCL on 4 September 2008 at Nkrumah Hall in Dar es Salaam, the then TGCL project leader, Prof. Ulrike Wanitzek, specified that, in addition to TGCL students being taught by internal and external scholars, they would also gain practical perspectives from leading legal practitioners in the East African region.[1] One key and a major component of the TGCL programme is research on the integration developments of the East African Community (EAC). As such, in all TGCL’s calls for applications, emphasis is laid on the requirement that proposals must focus on aspects of the EAC.[2]

Over the years, since its inception, TGCL has produced several books pertaining to different aspects of East African Community law in collaboration with regional and international scholars. In 2010, two years after its launch, TGCL published Volume 1 of the TGCL Series entitled ‘Justice and Dignity for All – Current Issues of Human Rights in Tanzania,’ which comprehensively highlights contemporary issues affecting human rights in Tanzania.[3] Subsequently, Volume 2 of the TGCL Series under the heading ‘Processes of Legal Integration in the East African Community’, containing eight articles, was launched on 29th September 2011. Among the dignitaries present during the launch was the then Deputy Minister for East African Cooperation, Hon. Dr Abdallah Juma Abdallah, who emphasized that research-based evidence is paramount in addressing key challenges faced in the EAC integration process.[4]

Besides publishing Volume 3 of the TGCL Series, in 2013, dubbed ‘Constitutional Reform Processes and Integration in East Africa, TGCL introduced the TGCL Research Series meant to publish the outstanding thesis of its Ph.D. students. Dr. Grace Kamugisha Kazoba’s thesis, ‘Protection of Consumers and a Guard against Counterfeit and Substandard Pharmaceuticals in Tanzania. Examining National, Regional, and International Legal and Institutional Legal Frameworks formed Volume 1 of the TGCL Research Series.[5] The year 2015 witnessed a historic launch of four publications by TGCL: the first three publications were Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of the TGCL Research Series, which were authored by TGCL Ph.D. students, namely ‘The United Republic of Tanzania in the East African Community: Legal Challenges in Integrating Zanzibar’ (by Dr. Maadhi Juma Maalim), ‘The Right to Compensation for Victims of Internal Armed Conflicts in East Africa: A Case Study of Genocide Victims in Rwanda’ (by Dr Lillian M. Mongella) and ‘East African Community Tax Harmonization: A Critical Assessment of its Viability for Income Tax Law’ (by Dr Anatole Nahayo).[6] The fourth publication was Volume 4 of the TGCL Series entitled ‘Regional Integration and Law: East African and European Perspectives.’

It is evident that not only do TGCL students keep abreast with developments at the regional level but also with emerging global issues that affect the EAC integration process. Dr. Omondi R. Owino’s Volume 5 of the TGCL Research Series, ‘Trans-Boundary Resource Cooperation in the Lake Victoria Basin: An International Environmental Law Perspective’ offers recommendations for cooperation in managing resources at the Lake Victoria Basin.[7] His research comes at an opportune time when the world is concerned with the sustainable use of natural resources to mitigate climate change. ‘Harmonisation of Laws in the East African Community. The State of Affairs with Comparative Insights from the European Union and Other Regional Economic Communities, Volume 5 of TGCL Series, is an outcome of a research workshop organized by TGCL in 2015, which centers on the harmonization of private economic law, such as commercial law, competition law, and labour law.[8]  The contributions therein speak to the impact of the law of regional blocks on municipal laws and in equal measure, outline how municipal laws hinder the implementation of regional laws. Subsequent to Dr. Omondi R. Owino’s book, in 2018, TGCL published volume 6 of the TGCL Research Series under the authorship of Dr. Kalekwa Kasanga, entitled ‘Protection of Human Rights in East Africa by Human Rights Commissions: A Case Study of Tanzania’ which advances recommendations on how the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance can efficaciously protect human rights in Tanzania.[9]

Beyond TGCL and the academia, TGCL alumni have flourished and are counted among top litigators in practicing East African Community Law. In the 2022 landmark case of Christopher Ayieko & Another vs. The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya & The Secretary General of the East African Community, two TGCL alumni sued the Government of Kenya at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) for commencing trade negotiations with the United States of America in contravention of the EAC Treaty, Common Market Protocol and Customs Union Protocol.[10] The EACJ declared that Kenya had violated Articles 6 and 7 of the EAC Treaty, Article 37 of the Common Market Protocol, and Article 37 of the Customs Union Protocol. This confirms that, indeed, TGCL is a centre of excellence whose students are sufficiently trained to become impactful leaders in the region.

Here, you can delve into our collection of regional integration articles stemming from the TGCL program. The most recent additions include:

[1] TGCL Bulletin (2009) p.4  accessed 20 October 2023.

[2] TGCL, ‘Call for Applications TGCL Scholarship 2023/2024’,The%20application%20deadline%20is%20Wednesday%2015%20March%202023. Accessed 20 October 2023 accessed 20 October 2023.

[3] TGCL Bulletin (2010) p. 23 accessed 20 October 2023.

[4] TGCL Bulletin (2011) p.23 accessed 20 October 2023.

[5] TGCL Bulletin (2014) p.23 accessed 20 October 2023.

[6] TGCL Bulletin (2015) p.2 accessed 20 October 2023.

[7] TGCL Bulletin (2017) p. 20 accessed 20 October 2023.

[8] TGCL Bulletin (2018) p. 23 accessed 20 October 2023.

[9] TGCL Bulletin (2019) p. 29 accessed 20 October 2023.

[10] Christopher Ayieko & Another v. The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya & The Secretary General of the East African Community Reference No. 5 of 2020.


By Mwaka Mupe

Mwaka Mupe is a PhD candidate at the University of Bayreuth.

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