EAR is an initiative of the Africa in Focus (AIF) Research and Communications Unit (ReComm) that seeks to integrate East African perspectives, and best practices in conversations around West, East and Southern African integration.
Using whatsapp largely as the flagship communicating tool, it serves as a catalyst for conversations on the African narrative. The group has expanded from merely East African countries in 2014 and 2015 to include strategic countries from the SADC region.
In 2018 and 2019, EAR enjoyed membership from SADC/COMESA countries, as well as those from Gambia and Liberia (in the West African Monetary Zone countries).
In 2019, EAR entered its *fourth iteration* (East Africa Rising 4.0) since it started in 2014. It now includes strategic SADC countries ( *Zambia; Zimbabwe; Botswana & Namibia*), all of which play critical roles in the Southern African region.
The game-changer to transforming EAR 3.0 to EAR 4.0 was South Africa.
Although membership includes diasporans living in South Africa, the inclusion of a consummate South African journalist/producer brings representation of the three hegemons of Kenya; Nigeria; and South Africa into this most unique of Pan-Africanist groups that has already spilled over from the virtual to offline, and will continue to do so as it moves to East Africa Rising 6.0 in 2020.