The 8th INECE International Conference on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement was held in Cape Town, South Africa in April, 2008. One of the key outcomes of this conference was the commitment to explore opportunities for regional networking in Africa. During the said conference, INECE hosted a regional conference for compliance professionals from sub-Saharan Africa. Participants considered the benefits of a regional enforcement network as one of the tools necessary for strengthening environmental enforcement capacity in the region. The regional conference resolved to establish the Sub-Saharan Network for Environmental Compliance & Enforcement with the objective of enhancing environmental compliance and enforcement in the region by sharing information and experience. Participants agreed to divide the network into four sub-regions, each with a sub-regional focal point namely: Eastern Africa (Kenya), Southern Africa (S. Africa), Central Africa (Cameroon) and West Africa (Ghana). However, without sufficient leadership and activities at the sub-Saharan level, the network did not live beyond the conference.
Despite the failure by the Sub-Saharan Network to register progress in meeting its objective, the idea of regional environmental enforcement networks for Africa did not die. Kenya took the leadership in formulating and establishing an East African network. Through the efforts of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA-Kenya), and with the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US. EPA), it was possible to mobilize support across the East Africa region for the proposed network. Finally, on 6-7 May 2010, delegates from the East African nations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda along with environmental compliance and enforcement experts from the international community gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Launching Conference of the East African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (EANECE). At this conference, delegates from the five East African countries resolved to establish EANECE.