They haven’t united but they should do it soon
The East African Community is planning for monetary union within 10 years, but they should accelerate their plans. The current situation makes no sense except as a post colonial construct.
Here is the reason why in a few charts why they should quickly unite.
The combined GDPs of these countries is a fraction of middle income Nigeria.
GDP Per Capita is trailing Nigeria’s GDP Per Capita – these countries are not growing fast enough as separate units. Nigeria is no boom town these days, so this shouldn’t be a big leap. East Asian countries have higher GDP Per Capita and better GDP Growth.
The aggregate population is smaller than Nigeria’s population. So they lack scale as consumer markets or for building global firms.
Although these are small economies they double up on public sector costs, such as cost of army personnel. They could make an immediate saving by combining their armed forces.
But here is a positive reason they should unite. They are way better at public finances and governance than Nigeria. They have a higher relative tax base, as they are efficient at tax collection.
One reason could be the proportion of their government that is run by women. More women is usually a sign of good governance.