EABC lauded for championing the Private Sector in East Africa at the EAC level

Entry Date Mar 27 2018 // News, Events

Nairobi 24th March, 2018:- The East Africa Business Council celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, Kenya under the theme of ‘Beyond East Africa – Moving Aspiration to Action’. The conference brought together regional and international dignitaries, regional heads of business and the EAC Private Sector who together agreed that the EABC is at the forefront of pushing for regional integration being the voice of the Private Sector in the region.

Speaking during the anniversary celebrations, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rigunda, Prime Minister of Uganda noted that the integration of the region will be dependable on the achievements of the EABC. He noted that the region wishes to see EABC do more to facilitate and promote all aspects of private sector development in East Africa. “Since the inception of the EABC, there has been progress made towards achieving the integration process through Policy reviews, tax harmonization, discussions on the Northern Corridor, stakeholder engagements with the view to improve the free movement of goods and services. With this 20th Anniversary, the EABC has been provides opportunities to continue to exploit in a concerted effort to achieve and even surpass the objectives they have set out to achieve for the business community. Tariff and non-tariff issues still feature high on the agenda of EABC, and these directly affect the livelihoods of our citizens in the region. As governments, we will continue to support the cause of the EABC to achieve the goal of regional integration. With our achievements so far, we need to accelerate the momentum.

The EABC, the apex body of business associations of the private sector in East Africa, aims to foster an enabling business environment that promotes the sectors regional and global competitiveness in trade and investments. With an observer status at the EAC, the EABC is able to attend and participate in all relevant EAC activities and deliberations this in turn works toward promoting the private sectors regional and global competitiveness.

Speaking during the conference, the EABC Chairman Mr. Jim Kabeho noted that since attainment of the Observer Status and the Consultative Dialogue framework, EABC has achieved a lot from influencing and advocating for formulation, implementation and or review of different laws at regional level; therefore providing leeway to improve the business and investment environment in the region.
“The EABC journey has been remarkable. Business people can now feel the tangible benefits of the EAC integration process arising from the Custom Union, Common Market Protocols as well as infrastructure developments that include the One Border Posts; SGR; Construction of roads connecting East Africa and the improvement of ports. To this end, it has been commendable to note that the total Intra EAC trade has increased to US$5.1 billion with total exports to the world averaging US$ 16 billion as at 2015. It is the expectation of the EABC that with the acceptance of the Republic of South Sudan, benefits in terms of trade and investments will expand.” Noted EABC Chairman Mr. Jim Kabeho.

In support of the Private Sector, the EABC will in the next years seek to reposition and rebrand in view of the evolving and dynamic changes and scenarios in Policy Advocacy and representation of business interests. This will provide an opportunity for EABC to increase reputation and recognition as one of the foremost regional representative bodies in Africa.
As the EAC prepares for the COMESA-EAC-SADC Free Trade Area and the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to come into force, the EABC is steadfast positioning itself to champion the vast business opportunities from investments and trade the region will likely be exposed to.

“It is our expectation that the trade arrangements brought forth by the signing of the AfCTA will motivate EAC partner States to integrate further by eliminating National Trade Barriers and iron out policy issues frustrating inflows of trade and investment in the region,” noted EABC Chairman Mr. Jim Kabeho.
EABC reaffirms its commitment to the private sector in East Africa noting that the private sector is the engine of growth for socio economic development in the EAC.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

About EABC

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the apex advocacy body of the Private Sector 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. Originally comprising members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, its membership was expanded to include Private Sector from Burundi, and Rwanda in 2007 as well as and South Sudan in 2017.

Being the representative of Private Sector associations in the region, EABC was granted observer status in organs and activities of the East African Community (EAC). EABC therefore participates in various sectoral meetings, meetings of the Coordination Committee, Council of Ministers’ Meetings and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State, with a view to ensuring that the agenda of the Private Sector is well articulated and received by the policy makers.

Vision:
Borderless East Africa for business and investment.

Mission:
To promote sustainable Private Sector-driven growth.

EABC Membership is drawn from the six East African Partner States and is open to all national and regional associations as well as Corporates with interest in the EAC integration process or/and operations in the region.

EABC Membership cuts across all business sectors and includes Corporates, the National Private Sector Apex Bodies; National Manufacturers’ Associations; National Chambers of Commerce, Employer’s Associations; National Women Associations, Transporters Associations, National Bankers Associations, Employers Associations and various Regional Associations among others. For more info: www.eabc.info

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