1.          The High Level Business and Investment was held at Grand Melia Hotel on 28th and 29th November 2019 in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania. The Business Summit was officially opened by Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of H.E John Pombe Joseph Magufuli.

The High Level East African Business and Investment Summit (EABIS) was jointly organized by the East Africa Business Council, East Africa Community Secretariat and Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, among others. The summit was themed: EAC@20 Private Sector-Driven Regional Integration for increased Intra-EAC Trade and Investments.


2.          The high-level business summit was held to set the economic agenda and outlook for East Africa, as the region commemorates 20 years of the EAC integration process. The overarching goal of the summit was to enable the private sector to meet high level policy decision-makers from East Africa and beyond in order to influence policy reforms and implementation to improve the business environment in the EAC region.




3.          The Summit enabled private sector participants to share information and experiences about latest developments in the EAC region and information about business opportunities. The participants were able to get insights, new ideas and were inspired by open, candid and critical self-examination as a region.

4.          The Summit also enabled attendees to show-case their products and services in their exhibition booths and it also gave participants opportunities to network, create personal business relationships and partnerships.




5.          The Summit took stock of the EAC achievements for the last 20 years and noted that the Community has made tremendous progress in facilitating business in East Africa as well as improving the social-economic environment.




The private sector has been pivotal in these achievements and they include: putting in place a Customs Union, implementing the Common Market and Monetary Union Protocols, and laying the foundation for EAC Political confederation. Similarly, there has been construction and operationalization of 13 One Stop Border Posts (OSBP), simplified certificate of origin and cargo processing regime, implementation of a Common External




Tariff, development and improvement of physical infrastructure, adoption of a number of sector policies, among others that have resulted in increased trade volumes.




6.          On the downside, it was noted that there is a downward trend in the profile of EAC as an attractive trade and investment destination due to; persistent non- tariff barriers, high costs of doing business, un-harmonized domestic tax regimes, infrastructure bottlenecks, deficient skills and technology and high cost of finance among others.










I.        The EAC integration should be truly people centered and private sector driven as envisioned in the EAC Treaty under article 7.




II.        The EAC region to double the intra EAC trade from 12%-24% within five years by addressing persistent non-tariff barriers, diversifying production, opening up borders, promotion of regional value chains and development of regional local content policy.




III.        Implementation of regional policies and directives by Partner States is instrumental in increasing trade in the region. The public sector should fast track the domestication and implementation of regional and sectoral policies, laws and protocols to create an enabling business environment.




IV.        The EAC region needs to be jointly promoted as a single investment destination, with reliable investor information packaged to aid investor decision making.




V.        Partner States to fast track tax harmonization by using a number of measures including establishing an initiative to address tax related issues.

VI.        EAC Partner States should take into consideration language barriers within the EAC region that impede ease of doing business

VII.        Private sector to work closely with the public sector to establish a regional tax and regulatory initiative for business development.




VIII.        Partner States to fast-track conclusion of the comprehensive review of the Common External Tariff.

IX.        There is an urgent need for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to facilitate trade




X.        The East African region should adopt the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as robotics, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things to reduce costs and expand their services globally.




XI.        The public and private sector need to collaborate to design measures that will catalyze the Digital revolution in East Africa including Tech Bonds, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), Tech Parks, Tech Hubs and protect its data by putting in place data sovereignty policies.

XII.        The EAC Partner States should embrace the AfCFTA for the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities therein.

XIII.        EAC Partner States to put in place measures for special consideration of women in business in the EAC integration process.

XIV.        EAC Partner States should enhance their sensitization campaigns for the citizenry to know more about the EAC integration process

XV.        EAC Partner states to expedite the finalization of the Standardization, Accreditation and Conformity Assessment Bill (SACA Bill, 2017).

XVI.        Public and private sectors to prioritize capacity building for SMEs in areas such as financing, digitization; technology acquisition, market access, linkages with multi nationals among others to be able to upgrade their operations for sustainability and growth.




XVII.        The EAC region should support development and upgrading of regional value chains, specifically supporting the private sector who are already established in the region as well as attract new investments.




XVIII.        The EAC region should put in place measures to address the high cost of production such as the energy tariffs, logistical bottlenecks and access to affordable finance.