Nairobi, 12th February 2024 – The East African Business Council (EABC) actively participated in a two-day EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP II) Regional consultative workshop on quality compliance and standards strengthening component. The workshop is a pivotal step toward effective project implementation, with EABC serving as one of the key implementers of the initiative.
The workshop was officiated by Ms. Annette Ssemuwemba Mutaawe, Deputy Secretary-General Customs, Trade, and Monetary Affairs, East African Community (EAC). The meeting was attended by the International Trade Centre (ITC) – MARKUP II Quality Team, East African Business Council (EABC), European Union (EU), and Experts from Partner States representing National Standards Bodies (NSBs).
The consultative meeting presents a valuable opportunity to chart the course for the project’s successful implementation. The project will build on the success made under Market Access Upgrade Programme I and involve a collaborative approach under the leadership of EAC Secretariat co-chaired by EABC.
Set to commence in Quarter 1 of 2024 up to 2027, the project will cover selected value chains of packaging, coffee, tea, cocoa, gum-Arabic, essential oils, leather, avocado, and spices within six (6) EAC countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
MARKUP II aims to unleash Africa’s potential MSMEs to new heights and unlock the full potential of Africa’s economic development. EAC companies will be able to thrive in the global markets by reducing market access barriers and trade restrictions in the Region, and Europe as well as supporting the EAC partner states in identifying, regulating, and promoting key agricultural products and packaging for exports.
MSMEs, including women and youths’ competitiveness and capacities to overcome challenges low awareness about food safety standards and high compliance costs will be enhanced. The project will also implement the developed and adopted Private Sector Self-Regulation Framework for Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Coffee in 2023 under MARKUP I. The capacities of National Standard Bodies to support standards and quality compliance across all levels of the selected value chains will also be enhanced.