Leadership and the Politics of Borderland Communities
: Integration, Peace and Security in the East African Community

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The East African Community is making efforts to address the security challenges in its borderland communities. This study seeks to examine the critical security role of the EAC using leadership theory. This study seeks to understand the common security challenges experienced in both the Kenya-Uganda & Tanzania-Kenya borderlands and the leadership dynamics involved in addressing them within the East African Community security framework. To date, the study of borderlands in East Africa has been preoccupied with the economic, geographical, and geopolitical questions. This study explores the struggles and adaptations of borderland, their insecurities, and the emergent regional leadership processes and how they impact on the EAC’s regionalism agenda.

I have explored the current EAC framework which aims to transform the leader focus and state driven agenda to a people focused community. The political vision and goal of the EAC is still not widely shared between the leaders and the citizens, despite robust efforts to make it people centred. The communities in the border areas have constructed a community that transcends citizenship and nationalism, despite the unwillingness of the leaders of EAC states in addressing some of the challenges in the borderland.

The EAC’s goals and the borderland communities’ goals and interests are different. This has made it difficult to find shared sense of common destiny between the EAC’s goal of building a community that incorporates the issues of the borderland communities. What the EAC lacks is an exchange of influence with the borderland communities, a deficiency that has been inherited from the way the individual leaders of the partner states practise the leadership. Therefore, the EAC has been unable to build and sustain mutuality with the borderland communities.

Date of Award1 Mar 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorAbiodun Alao (Supervisor) & David Mwambari (Supervisor)

Cite this