Wealth and Prosperity comes from Trade – says H.E. Yoweri Museveni

  • The EAC Must Embrace Free Trade; it's is Critical to the Survival of Partner States- says H.E. Yoweri Museveni
  • Government Partnership with Private Sector is vital for Wealth Creation and Prosperity in the EAC


Entebbe, Uganda, 24th August 2019:- The East African Business Council pays a courtesy visit to H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and Member of the Summit of EAC Heads of State at the Entebbe State House, Uganda.


Leading the EABC delegation, Mr. Nick Nesbitt, EABC Chairman, was accompanied by Mr. Patrick Bitature, PSFU Chairman and EABC Board Directors namely Mr. Mwine Jim Kabeho, EABC Vice-Chairman & Director, Madhvani Group of Companies, Hon. Peter Mathuki, CEO EABC, Mr. Chris Diaz, EABC Board Director & Group Director Bidco Africa Ltd, Mr. Godfrey Simbeye, CEO Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Mr. Gideon Badagawa, CEO PSFU,  Mr. Simon Kaheru, EABC Board Director, Ms. Merian Sebunya, Director PSFU & Member EABC, Ms. Waturi wa Matu, Senior Director, TradeMark East Africa and Mr. Moses Ogwal, PSFU.


 “Your Excellency, first and foremost allow me, on behalf of the business community and private sector in East Africa congratulate you and more sincerely thank you not only for engaging closely towards a common vision with your counterparts in the other EAC Partner States but also for being a steadfast believer in regional integration,” said Mr. Nick Nesbitt.


Mr. Nesbitt further appreciated H.E. President Museveni for resolving border misunderstandings for the common good of the East African people as enshrined in the Treaty.

“This will go a long way in instilling confidence to the citizens and business community,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

He further said EABC is a respected coordinator and holds respective dialogue with EAC governments with balanced regional views and policy stance. He urged for closer government partnership and involvement with the private sector in policy formulation to enhance the competitiveness of the EAC region, value addition in agriculture, mining &  services sectors among others as well as strengthening regional value chains.

Mr. Nebsitt  engaged H.E. President Museveni on the need and importance to fast track the  comprehensive review of EAC CET; Liberalization of Opens Skies;  One Network Area on Telecommunication; Harmonization of Standards in the EAC; Strengthening the EAC Secretariat on enforcement of laws; Market access with Democratic Republic of the Congo; Transport interlinkages in the region - Road, Rail and Water (lake Victoria); Inter-governmental trade dispute resolution mechanism and closer government involvement and government partnership with the private sector.


 “A healthy and vibrant private sector will support social and economic development of the EAC. Involvement and partnership with private sector in budget planning process will allow the growth of local & regional value chains, hence reducing the imports gap in the EAC region,” said Mr. Nesbitt.


“Comprehensive review of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET) is yet to be finalized four years down the line adversely affecting intra-EAC trade” said Hon. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO.


“Liberalize the incoming cargo flights as it will increase cargo volume supporting exports of EAC horticultural products,” urged Ms. Waturi Matu, TMEA.


In his remarks, H.E. President Yoweri Museveni reaffirmed the importance of partnership with the private sector. “Where does wealth creation come from? Prosperity comes from trade! Commercial Agriculture, Industry, Services, ICT” said His Excellency.


H.E. President Museveni re-emphasized that there is no serious industry that can survive on the internal market alone, free trade is the minimum leaders can do to uplift East African livelihoods.


 “Private sector is the dynamic and active element that unites the factors of economy i.e. land, natural resources and labour. The private sector brings on board entrepreneurship and capital,” said H.E. President Museveni.


H.E. President Museveni advised for a common strategic ideology for all East Africa .i.e. All Governments should see the primary interest is to promote prosperity, therefore Trade and partnership with Private Sector. H.E. further elaborated that there are no future markets for East African good and services without free-trade in East Africa Community, Africa and Globally. No country’s internal market only is sufficient and viable to survive.


H.E. President Museveni reiterated his commitment to champion the finalization of the comprehensive review of the CET with a focus on encouraging industrialization; Harmonization of Standards; Support EABC to be granted Headquarter Agreement with the United Republic of Tanzania; Improve efficiency and affordability of air  passenger and cargo transport  in the region and look at the potential of  Lake Victoria transport infrastructure such as incentives to spur investment in the water transport sector.


The EABC Chairman and Board also met H.E Salva Kiir, President of the Republic of South Sudan during the courtesy call to Entebbe State House. EABC requested H.E President Salva Kiir to continue strengthening  Private Sector in the Republic of South Sudan and enhancing security to improve trade and investments between other EAC partner states and the Republic of South Sudan.


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).