EAST AFRICA PRIVATE SECTOR STEADFAST TO SET PACE OF THE AFCFTA

 

Arusha, Tanzania 2nd October 2019:- The East African Business Council in partnership with the East African Community and support from USAID  convens together over 38 industry champions and business leaders from the region to discuss on the opportunities of the AfCFTA, Tariffs, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services in Arusha, Tanzania.

 

In his opening remarks, Hon. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO appreciated HE Paul Kagame President of Rwanda, the Chair Emeritus of the African Union and current Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State for championing the 1.2 billion continental market.

 

 “We need more public-private dialogue and involvement of the private sector in the negotiations of the AfCFTA at national, regional and continental levels,” said Hon Mathuki.

He urged the EAC Partner States to eliminate barriers to trade,  improve infrastructure and enhance regional value chains through manufacturing to harness opportunities availed by AfCFTA.

 

“Given that commencement of trading within the AfCFTA is slated for 1st July 2020, the East African Private Sector is steadfast in setting pace of the AfCFTA negotiations. EABC is in close discussing with the African Union and has offered to host the first-ever African Business Council in East Africa,” said Hon. Mathuki.

 

In his remarks, the Chief Guest Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, EAC Deputy Secretary-General for Productive and Social Sectors reiterated EAC’s commitment to work in close partnership with the private sector.

 

“The world is targeting the Africa market, what are we targeting as East Africans?” said Hon. Bazivamo.

 

He further said the EAC has agreed to implement the AfCFTA as one bloc and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State is committed to promoting growth of industries, investments in the region.

 

“Business people should take the lead in exporting made in East African products across the continent,” said Hon. Bazivamo.

 

Hon Bazivamo highlighted that agri-related products compose of appx. 60% share of intra-EAC trade and most industries have close linkages with the agricultural sector hence need to, enhance harmonization of standards, improve competitiveness, facilitate trade and address supply-side constraints in order to seize the opportunities offered by the AfCTFA.

 

On 7th June 2019, Niamey, Niger, the EABC represented the private sector in AfCFTA Business Summit held alongside the launch of the operational phase of the AfCFTA, during the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.

 

About East African Business Council

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. 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, 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 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 operations in the region. At the national level, EABC activities are coordinated through the EABC National Focal Points, who are also the national Private Sector umbrella bodies. 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 about EABC, visit www.eabc.info.

For more information, please visit: http://eabc-online.com

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