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EABC MEETS CHAIR OF THE SUMMIT OF EAC HEADS OF STATE

  • EABC engages HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State
  • Chair of the Summit reiterates Partner States’ commitment to engage more closely with the private sector in the EAC regional integration journey.

Kigali, Rwanda, 16th September 2019:- Led by EABC Chairman Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt, the EABC Board Directors officially met HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State at the Office of the President in Kigali, Rwanda.

In his remarks, Mr. Nesbitt appreciated HE President Kagame for hosting the EABC delegation and commended the Republic of Rwanda for being ranked 2nd in Africa in the World Bank’s ranking on Ease of Doing Business.

“Such milestones if achieved in other Partners States will make the region more attractive for investments,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

“Intra EAC trade is still low at 12%, compared to the EU at 67%. The private sector desires to partner more with governments to make the region attractive for investments, wealth and employment creation, uplifting East Africans out of poverty,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

“The potential regional market of 200 million consumers can only be accessed if businesses are facilitated and NTBs eliminated,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

He further appreciated His Excellency’s support for private sector becoming an integral player in driving the EAC regional integration agenda and called for other EAC Heads of State to move in tandem to push the integration agenda.

The meeting called for the establishment of a mechanism to implement the agreed Summit directives that have stalled.

The meeting observed the need to review the EAC Customs Management Act to better facilitate trade and address NTBs.

The role of public-private dialogues was emphasized as a critical tool to address issues and restrictions to trading across borders.

Further, the meeting reiterated the urgent need to fast track the actualization of the AfCFTA and the full involvement of the private sector in AfCFTA negotiations.

Among other issues raised was the need to enforce resolutions made to liberalize EAC air space, implement the One Network Area, and quicken the issuance of work permits.

The meeting called upon the Summit to conclude the comprehensive review of the EAC CET.

HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State recommended for close collaboration among the private sector in the EAC partner states to strengthen their voice to influence the policymakers.

The Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State recommended for a formalized mechanism through which the private sector will engage the EAC Council of Ministers.

The Chair of EABC formally invited His Excellency in his capacity as the Chair of EAC Summit to drum support and invite other Heads of State to participate in a regional business summit organized by the EABC scheduled to precede the Heads of State Summit in November 2019.

HE Paul Kagame welcomed the request by the EABC to have a permanent seat during discussions of the EAC Heads of State in recognition of their partnership role in the EAC regional integration as enshrined in the Treaty.

HE Paul Kagame emphasized the importance of political will to drive the integration agenda and deliver benefits to the East African citizens and businesses.

The meeting appreciated the role of development partners, particularly TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in promoting trade, increasing exports, reducing the cost of doing business and enhancing competitiveness. In addition, the role played by GIZ in their contribution and commitment towards their support to SMEs and  EAC regional integration agenda was appreciated.

 

For more information, please contact:

Hon.Peter Mathuki, Chief Executive Officer

East African Business Council (EABC)

9th Floor Mafao House | Old Moshi Road | Arusha | Tanzania

P.O. Box 2617 | Tel: +255 27 2520162 | +255 27 2520163

Email:  info@eabc-online.com I Website: eabc.info

EABC - The Voice of the Private Sector in East Africa 

 

-END-

About EABC

 

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African Countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the Private Sector in the Integration process of the East African Community. Vision: Borderless East Africa for business and investment. Mission: To promote sustainable Private Sector-driven growth. For more information about EABC, visit www.eabc.info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EABC ENSURES POLICIES WORK FOR EAST AFRICAN BUSINESSES AT  GROUND LEVEL

  • EABC-TMEA kick starts the Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) with Trade Facilitation Agencies at the One-Stop Borders across the EAC Partner States.
  • EABC interrogates if EAC agreements and practices ease doing business across borders.

 Arusha, Tanzania, 13th September 2019:- The EABC – TMEA kick starts the Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) with Trade Facilitation Agencies at the One-Stop Borders across the EAC Partner States to interrogate if EAC agreements and practices ease doing business across borders. The PPDs focus is on the extent to which Partner States are translating the EAC Common Market and Customs Union Protocols into policies that support the actualization of free movement of goods and people.

 

The debut EABC Public-Private Dialogue with Trade Facilitation Agencies at Namanga  One-Stop Border Post on 12th March 2019, brought together officials from Ministries of EAC Affairs, Immigration, bureaus of standards, plant and animal health, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), Revenue Authority, Police, cross border traders, transporters, exporters, importers, business leaders and women in business under one roof. It was an opportunity for open dialogue to ensure policies work for businesses at the ground level.

 

“Following EABC’s successful advocacy, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards, effective 12th September 2019, eliminated a long-outstanding standards related NTB on importation of Smirnoff Ice Black from Kenya which had been denied entry into Tanzania  since March 2019,” said Hon. Peter Mathuki, CEO EABC highlighting a success story from the EABC PPD with Trade Facilitation Agencies at Namanga  OSBP.

 

Other achievements from the PPD is that the Heads of Namanga OSBP from Kenya and Tanzania side jointly agreed to hold a good-will neighborhood meeting to come up with a framework to facilitate small traders living in Namanga to access neighboring markets of Bisil/Longido which are beyond gazetted area distances.

 

In his remarks during the PPD at Namanga OSBP, Hon. Peter Mathuki, CEO EABC said “This Public-Private Dialogue is an opportunity for the private sector to share successes, challenges, and concerns to intra–EAC trade, which can be resolved by the trade facilitation agencies at Namanga OSBP”

 

He noted the intra EAC trade is low at below 15% compared with other RECs viz a vis SADC at 48%  EU at 70%.

 

He emphasized that EABC will raise recommendations to the EAC Heads of State and respective Ministries to quickly solving trade barriers and spur intra-EAC trade and investments.

 

The Namanga OSBP channels 90% of trade between Kenya and Tanzania. In her remarks, Mrs. Mary Ngechu, EABC Board Director, said in 2018, Kenya imported Tanzanian products valued at USD.175 million while exported USD. 293 million.

 

Mr. Amedeus Mzee from the Ministry of EAC Affairs Tanzania said the smooth flow of goods across borders is paramount to improving the production capacity and competitiveness of EAC industries and job creation.

 

Mr. Wakhungu Juma from Ministry of EAC Affairs Kenya emphasized that increased trade in Kenya and Tanzania is beneficial to the economic development of the EAC.

 

Ms. Mary Palmer, Commissioner Permits, & Pass Tanzania Immigration said Tanzania has reduced residence permit fees for East Africans however issuance of temporary passports products valued not been rolled out at entry points such as Namanga  OSBP.

 

Mr. Kake Dhariwal, EABC Former Board Director said USD250 charge for trucks for every entry at Namanga OSBP is high and recommended for  24-hour operations to facilitate  large cargo clearance at the OSBP.

                                                                                         

The Chair of the women cross-border association expressed that women traders are not allowed to trade inside the Namanga OSPB, Tanzanian side and requested for an allocated area for bead traders within the perimeters of the OSBP.

 

Mr. Allan Ngugi, Director, Business Environment TMEA re-affirmed TMEA's commitment to supporting sustainable trade and urged for continuous engagement between public and private sector in a bid to facilitate trade and positively impact livelihoods.

 

Among other obstacles to Tanzania –Kenya trade include: numerous police checks for transit vehicles, short life span validity of temporary passports and issuance of temporary passports unavailable Namanga OSBP, lack of weighbridge at Namanga OSBP,  language barriers, issuance of business passes to drivers  instead of temporary passes and poor awareness of the EAC Simplified Trade Regime by small scale traders.

 

 

Notes:-

 

Joint Recommendations of the EABC-TMEA PPD with Trade Facilitation Agencies at Namanga  One Stop Border Post

 

  1. Need to reduce police checks along the routes along Arusha-Namanga – Nairobi route
  2. Need for URT to allow parking cargo trucks at the Border Post (OSBP) than parking at Longido-
  3. Need for URT to consider the process of issuing temporary passports at Namanga (entry points) other than going to the Longido district.
  4. Need for URT/Kenya to facilitate their respective border regulatory agencies to operate a 24hr working schedule at Namanga OSBP (Cargo clearance) –
  5. Need for URT to allocate special area for cross border women (Beads traders) at inside the OSBP-
  6. Need to install weigh bridge at Namanga One Stop Border Post to facilitate transporters
  7. Need to for more awareness on Simplified Trade Regime – To specify Personal vs Business goods, quantities through Sensitization of Cross Border Traders on the Simplified Trade Regime (STR)
  8. Need for harmonization of domestic taxes- Internal taxes
  9. Standards agencies to mutually recognize quality marks from all partner states – KEBS, TBS
  10. Traders to submit evidence on trade barriers to relevant authorities and business associations
  11. Heads of Namanga OSBP to allow temporary passes to trade at Bisil/Longido which is beyond gazetted area distances – Good neighbourlihood
  12. Need for close collaboration between security agencies and cross border traders to avoid closure of the Namanga Highway because of accidents / protests
  13. Cross border traders encouraged to take advantage of EABC /EALS legal clinics at the border post.

 

About East African Business Council (EABC)

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African Countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the Private Sector in the Integration process of the East African Community. EABC was granted observer status in organs and activities of the East African Community (EAC) and therefore, participates in various sectoral meetings, meetings of the Coordination Committee, the EAC Council of Ministers, and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State; with a view to ensure that the agenda of the Private Sector is well articulated and received by the policymakers.

 

Vision: Borderless East Africa for business and investment.

 

Mission: To promote sustainable Private Sector-driven growth.

 

EABC Membership is open to all national and regional associations as well as Corporates with interest in the EAC integration process or operations in the region. At the national level, EABC activities are coordinated through the EABC National Focal Points. These are Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industries Burundi (CFCIB), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

For more information visit www.eabc.info.

 

About TradeMark East Africa

TradeMark (Trade and Markets) East Africa is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established in 2010, with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America. TMEA works closely with Regional Intergovernmental Organisations, like the East Africa Community, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

 

The first phase of TMEA (2010-2018) delivered exceptional results which contributed to substantial gains in East Africa’s trade and regional integration in terms of reduced cargo transit times, improved border efficiency, and reduced barriers to trade.

 

We are now in the second phase (2018 - 2023) where we will focus on:

 

  1. Reducing barriers to trade; and
  2. Improving business competitiveness.

 

We believe this will deliver large-scale impact in job creation, poverty reduction and enhanced economic welfare.

TMEA has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with successful operations and offices in EAC-Arusha, Burundi (Bujumbura), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), Democratic Republic of Congo (Bukavu), Ethiopia (Addis-Ababa), South Sudan, Uganda (Kampala) and Rwanda (Kigali). To find out more, please visit our website www.trademarkea.com.

 

 

 

                                           

The East African Business Council is pleased to invite you to the 2nd edition of East Africa Business & Investment Summit, which is tentatively scheduled to take place at the last week of November 2019, Arusha, Tanzania. The summit is co-organized by the EAC, EABC through its National Focal Points in the Partner States and the respective investment agencies.

The East African Business & Investment Summit aims to undertake an audit of achievements, impediments, prospects of the EAC regional integration process in light of the Customs Union, Common Market Protocol, and Monetary Union, and global and continental developments. The summit will come up with recommendations to be submitted to the EAC Council of Ministers for Directives aimed at turning policy into practice in a bid to facilitate and increase cross border & Foreign Direct Investments in the EAC and improve intra-EAC trade and exports outside the region.

The summit will be preceded with a session of the CEOs Round Table with the EAC Council of Ministers and parallel exhibition to showcase new products and services as well as the latest technologies and innovations.

In this regard, we request you to diarize the last week of November 2019 and express your interest to speak and sponsor the upcoming 2nd East African Business & Investment Summit. The actual date and venue will be communicated soon.

For any further questions and a confirmation of your engagement kindly respond to director@eabc-online.comzshaidi@eabc-online.com, and admin@eabc-online.com

Visit: www.eabc-online.com/EABIS/