The EABC Franchising Project (EABCFP 2019-2023) is a disruptive 5-year initiative aimed at nurturing the growth of a vibrant indigenous-driven franchise sector in East Africa as a tool for achieving a seamless economic integration of the EAC. The project is a partnership between the East African Business Council, the apex body of the private sector in East Africa and World ahead, a premier franchise consultancy brand. The project operates under the EABC brand and has other major partners as follows:

  1. The EAC as the main beneficiary of successful delivery through economic integration of EAC
  2. Statera Capital as the main equity finance advisor/aggregator
  3. PSFU- Uganda National Focal Point and implementing partner in Uganda
  4. TPSF- Tanzania National Focal Point and implementing partner in Tanzania
  5. KEPSA- Kenya National Focal Point and implementing Partner in Kenya
  6. PSFR- Rwanda National Focal Point and implementing partner in Rwanda
  7. CFCID- Burundi National Focal Point and implementing partner in Burundi

As the national implementing partners, the national focal points are tasked with mobilizing the private sector in their countries, through workshops, conferences and constant communication, to start embracing franchising as the growth model for future-focused brands in order to transform

East Africa into a modern economy. Major stakeholders in each country, apart from the private sector members of the above national focal points include government ministries of Trade & Industry, Labor, Youth & Gender, Justice & Constitutional Affairs, Finance and EAC matters. Others include franchise associations where such exist, the national chambers of commerce and industry, SMEs and corporates who are not members of these associations and the academia.

The project aims to create 1,500 indigenous franchise brands across at least 75 sectors of the EAC economies. These brands are spread as follows per country: Kenya 600, Uganda 430, Tanzania 370, Rwanda 80, Burundi 20.

Apart from the policy and legal components, the project will build the capacity of local resources to support growth of the franchise sector by training local franchise consultants, lawyers, banks and members of the judiciary. It will also develop capacity of local suppliers to meet standards required supply international franchise networks. Further, it will offer technical assistance by hand-holding identified local franchise brand champions to franchise, including availing equity investment to roll out their franchise network from its proposed USD 500M Revolving Franchise Growth Fund to be established with seed capital from development partners and sustained through private equity and government grants. Though the project is currently at fund-raising stage, through Statera Capital, we are currently working with over 20 private equity funds from Europe and North America to support indigenous East African brands to develop and roll out  their franchise networks and acquire foreign franchises. We are also offering franchise development consultancy at a fee to such brands to develop and roll out their franchise networks.

The project also supports the currently-moribund franchise associations to start recruiting members and to take their place as the self-regulatory mechanism for the new sector. At project sunset, these associations will sustain growth of the sector as is the case in other countries where franchising flourishes.

We are extremely excited as we embark on this journey of hope and look forward to making a difference in how business is done in East Africa in order to achieve seamless EAC integration.

  1. There are 3 (three) classes of Members of the company namely:-
    1. Ordinary Members include among others National Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Manufacturers Associations, Federations of Employers, Apex Private Sector Associations, associations of (bankers, tourism, insurance, agricultural and transport sectors in East Africa.
    2. Associate Members composed of public or quasi public bodies such as Investment Promotion Centres, Export Promotion Councils and Export Promotion Zones Authorities, Port Authorities, bureaus of standards and others involved in facilitation of business.
    3. Corporate members who would be companies operating in East Africa.
  2. Membership shall run from 1st January to 31st December each year.
  3. On admission to membership each Member shall be deemed to have accepted, and agreed to abide by, these Articles, and any by-laws or other regulations of the company for the time being in force.
  4. The election of Members to the Board shall be decided by a majority vote of the country Members.
  5.  Any Member may resign his membership provided he gives written notice to the Executive Director at least 3 (three) months before the 31st day of December in any year of his wish to resign; and unless the Executive Committee determines otherwise; his resignation shall be effective from the date of his resignation. Any Ordinary, Associate or Corporate Member wishing to resign who fails to give such notice shall be liable for the subscription for the ensuing year. 
  6. A member shall be automatically suspended from membership if his membership fees is not paid for twenty four (24) months consecutively. And if wishes to return all outstanding membership fees have to be paid.
  7. The Executive Committee:
    1. Shall have power by resolution carried by a majority of those personally present and voting at a meeting of the Executive Committee, to suspend or to cancel the membership of any Member, after giving such Member a reasonable opportunity of being heard at the meeting, and shall not be obliged to give any reason for its decision.
    2.  If any Member shall go into liquidation whether compulsory or voluntary, such Member shall ipso facto cease to be a Member of the Company.
  8. Any person who, by resignation, or otherwise, shall cease to be a Member, shall nevertheless remain liable for, and shall pay to the Company sums which, at the time of his ceasing to be a Member, may be due from him to the Company and he shall not be entitled to any refund in respect of any unexpired portion of his subscription for the year in which he ceases to be a Member:
  9. Every Member shall be liable to pay to the Company, on election, and on 1st January in each subsequent year, a subscription based on a scale to be laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee, such scale to be approved by the Annual General Meeting following its original implementation of any subsequent variation thereof and the details of any such variation shall be included in the Agenda of any Annual General Meeting approving the same. PROVIDED ALWAYS THAT the Executive Committee may, in special cases and from time to time, vary the rate of subscriptions and / or the method of its ascertainment, subject to confirmation at the succeeding Annual General Meeting.
  10. All annual subscriptions shall be fixed by the Executive Committee, and shall become due and payable on 1st January every year. The Executive Committee shall have powers to determine procedure for collection, deadlines, fixing rates of interest on overdue subscription and shall make regulations as to payment of pro-rata subscription for a new Member joining during the year.
  11. New Members shall pay entrance fee of such amount as the Executive Committee shall determine for all new Members from time to time.
  12. No Member shall be entitled so long as his subscription is in arrears to exercise or enjoy any of the rights or privileges of membership or to vote on any matter or to stand for election or propose any representative or Member of the Company for election.


One of the freedoms provided for in the EAC Common Market Protocol (EAC CMP) which entered into force on 1st July 2010 is Free Movement of Workers. Other freedoms and rights enshrined in the Protocol are Free Movement of Goods; Free Movement of Capital; Free Movement of Services; Free Movement of Persons; the Right of Establishment and the Right of Residence. In accordance with the provisions of Article 10 of EAC CMP, the Partner States guarantee the free movement of workers, who are citizens of the other Partner States, within their territories.

However, almost seven years since the commencement of the implementation of EAC CMP both workers and employers are still constrained in their efforts to utilize the freedom of movement of workers. Partner States still continue to restrict movement of workers within the region with Tanzania demanding for permit fees in excess of USD 500 while Kenya has put restrictions on the age to a minimum of 35 years and a monthly salary in excess of USD 2000 making it almost impossible for the youth to be the beneficiaries of the freedom of free movement of workers in Kenya. In addition, the schedule on free movement of workers in the Protocol has never been revised. Other challenges on movement workers include: : delay of issuance work permit; limited number of occupations opened up in the Schedule on Free Movement of Workers-Annex II of the EAC CMP; delay of issuing residence permit; existence of un-harmonized work permit regimes in the EAC Partner States. According to the EAC Common Market Protocol under Annex II, Regulation 6(9) it states that “ The work permit or a special pass issued under these Regulations shall be issued in accordance with the harmonized classification of work permit and forms, fees and procedures as may be approved by the Council”. This is not happening as envisaged by the business community.

In order to make free movement of workers a reality in the EAC region, EABC and East African Employers Organization (EAEO) therefore recommend the following:


  1. EAC Partner States should review their respective immigration and labor laws and align them with the EAC Common Market Protocol; The EAC should develop a road map for the harmonization of all remaining laws by Partner States to ensure a structured approach and enhance the monitoring process;
  2. Tanzania and Burundi should join other EAC Partner States by abolishing  work permit fee requirements for EAC nationals/citizens;
  3. Kenya should remove restrictions on the age to a minimum of 35 years and monthly salary in excess of USD2000 as one the conditions for issuing work permits to workers from other EAC Partner States;
  4. EAC Partner States should abolish residence permit fees for East Africans who have been issued with a work permit
  5. The Council of Ministers should deliberate and approve the harmonized fees and classification of work/ residence permits and forms as stipulated in the Common Market Protocol;
  6. Partner States should implement the Standard Work/Residence acquisition Procedures as provided for in the Common Market Protocol;
  7. EAC Partner States to open up further occupations in the Schedule on Free movement of Workers after consulting employers, workers organizations and private sector associations;
  8. EAC Partner States should harmonize both Education and Skills Frameworks in the region;
  9. Establishment of the Regional Labour Market Information System.
  10. Partner States to carry out the manpower surveys in order to provide information on the skills gap which would support the higher education institutions in providing relevant trainings for the required skills in the region.
  11. The harmonized work/residence permits application form should take into account the following major aspects. First, the form should bear the emblem of the East African Community just like the EAC passport and other entry documents. The form should proceed with a section on “applicant’s particulars”. This section should require relevant information as stated under paragraph 2 of regulation 6 of EAC Common Market (Free Movement of Workers) regulations which include standard travel documents, National Identity Cards (where Partner States have agreed to use them as travel document). Other information to be required here include full names of the applicant, address, sex, profession or occupation, marital status, place of birth, nationality of origin and present nationality and national status.
  12. Partner States to implement the Standard Procedures as provided under Regulation 6 of EAC Common Market Protocol.
  13. Adoption of electronic system in issuing work/Residence Permits: EAC Partner States to adopt Rwanda’s model in the processing and issuance of work/residence permits.