Regional integration is a major development strategy for the countries of Africa, which all share the aim of continent-wide economic, social and cultural integration by 2028. Trade liberalisation is an important aspect of regional integration. This is to be achieved through regional free trade areas, progressing towards customs union, a common market and ultimately monetary union. The East African Community (EAC) is one of eight regional economic communities recognised by the African Union (AU), and the only one that has a vision of political federation. In the treaty establishing the EAC, the partner states decided to expand and intensify their economic, political, social and cultural integration. Since 1998, German development cooperation has made substantial contributions to the deeper economic and social integration process of the East African Community Partner States.