Friday, 10th September 2021 Arusha, Tanzania: – Mr. Cheptoo Amos Kipronoh, Executive Director for Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda of African Development Bank (AfDB) paid a courtesy visit to the East African Business Council (EABC) in Arusha, Tanzania.
In his remarks, Mr. Cheptoo said that the AfDB has invested in transport corridor development in the EAC region such as the Namanga, Holili/Taveta One- Stop Border Posts and Arusha Bypass Road. He stated the AfDB has granted USD. 9 million to the EAC Secretariat for COVID-19.
He elaborated that the Eastern Africa bloc has abundant resources to generate clean energy such as the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, with potential for export to the Southern power pool. He said that $50m have been earmarked to support women in business.
On his part, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa commended the AfDB for investing in infrastructure development in the EAC- a catalyst for economic growth. He said that infrastructure reduces the cost of doing business and has spillover effects on trade and investments by facilitating the movement of goods and people. He highlighted that infrastructure supports job creation and new business opportunities such as cross-border markets.
Mr. Kalisa urged for a closer partnership between the private sector and the AfBD to drive intra-EAC trade from the current 15% to 50% in the next five years. He elaborated that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) 1.2 billion market offers a pathway for economic recovery and resilience amid COVID-19.
Mr. Kalisa appreciated the United Republic of Tanzania for ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and the EAC Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures. This shall boost intra-African trade, food safety and agribusiness in the EAC bloc.
AfDB and EABC have agreed to amplify the socio-economic role of the private sector under the EAC Regional Integration Strategy Paper on matters such as the African Investment Forum, Elimination of Non- Tariff Barriers, Financial Integration, AfCFTA, Climate Change, 50 Million Women Speak project and Trade Finance.
The 2019 edition of the Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) ranked the East African Community (EAC) as the most integrated bloc among the eight regional economic communities (RECs) recognized by the African Union.
Mr. John Bosco Kalisa
Executive Director/ CEO
East African Business Council (EABC)
9th Floor Mafao House | Old Moshi Road | Arusha | Tanzania
P. O. Box 2617 | Tel: +255 27 2520162
EABC – The Voice of the Private Sector in East Africa
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. EABC vision is a borderless East Africa for business and investment. The primary mission is to promote sustainable private sector driven growth in the EAC.