The East African Community (EAC) is to rebrand itself, a new development that will see changes in the EAC emblem and symbols.
This will affect the flag, the emblem and the EAC theme colours, according to a press release issued by the Principal Public Relations Officer Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Uganda, Cris Magoba.
“The EAC Brand Architecture Strategy proposes several initiatives that include re-designing a new EAC logo and flag, developing a common unique identifier for all organs and institutions; developing one primary (main) EAC corporate colour and one secondary colour; and developing a single visual identity emblem for the Community,” he said.
He explained that the EAC Brand Architecture Strategy comes in the wake of the admission of the Republic of South Sudan and the possibility of the future expansion of the Community in line with Article 3 of the Treaty establishing the EAC.
Article 3, Clause 2 of the Treaty provides that: 'The Partner states may, upon such terms and in such manner as they may determine, together negotiate with any foreign country the granting of membership to, or association of that country with, the Community or its participation in any of the activities of the Community'.
Currently the emblem features a map of Lake Victoria with the partner states Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda around it. This is surrounded by an industrial wheel with a leave arch on either side with the letters 'EAC' at the top.
At the bottom of the emblem is a pictogram of a handshake. Below this are wording in Kiswahili 'Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki' which translates as 'East African Community'.
It excludes the Republic of South Sudan and any members that may be admitted to the community in future.
The EAC has eight institutions in different partner states with various mandates, each with a different logo. The rebranding will lead to the development of the unique identifier for all institutions and organs of the community like the East African Court of Justice and the East African Legislative Assembly.
The eight EAC institutions are: Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA);East African Development Bank (EADB); East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC);East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC);East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO); and the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA).
Also Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO).
The rebranding is also in line with the decisions of the EAC Council of Ministers, Magoba said.
“The 24th Meeting of the Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for EAC affairs and planning in June 2016 considered and adopted the EAC Brand Architecture and directed the EAC Secretariat to use the youth in the region in the process of developing the new EAC brand architecture.”
Information online states that the Community Emblem Act, 2003 sets out the symbolism behind the flag. Blue: Lake Victoria signifying the unity of the EAC partner states. White, black, green, yellow, red: representing the different colours of the flags of each of the EAC partner states.
In order to implement the Council decision on the rebranding, the Secretariat will run adverts calling for entries for the re-design in the month of April 2017.
The EAC will also conduct sensitization workshops and involve the youth in the EAC Brand Architecture in universities of the partner states and launch the EAC Brand Architecture re-design competition in May 2017.