Monday, June 24, 2024 – The East African Community (EAC) Conference 2024 (EACON2024) officially commenced today at Afisiyooni Tent in Mogadishu, Somalia. The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, HE Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, officiated the event. This conference aims to discuss and promote regional integration and economic cooperation among East African countries, with a focus on leveraging opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
During the conference, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), delivered a significant address. He emphasized the importance of private sector collaboration in fostering trade and investment between Somalia and its East African neighbors. Kalisa highlighted Somalia’s strategic coastal location as a key asset for trade and tourism, and the potential for developing the livestock industry across East Africa.
He also discussed plans to formalize cooperation between the EABC and Somalia’s Chamber of Commerce to reduce trade barriers through initiatives like trade facilitation programs and promoting regional value chains. Kalisa’s insights reinforced the need for continued cooperation and partnership to realize the economic opportunities between Somalia and the broader East African region.
Bjorn Richter, GIZ Cluster Coordinator, also made significant contributions to the conference. He emphasized the role of development cooperation in fostering regional integration and highlighted GIZ’s initiatives in supporting sustainable economic development in the region. Richter’s remarks underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between international organizations and local stakeholders to drive meaningful progress.
The conference featured a range of key activities and presentations, including discussions on the impact of the EAC Common Market on Somalia’s agriculture and food security by Briandt Gokah from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Dr. Idd Ramadhani Mandi discussed understanding rules of origin under the Customs Union, and Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Nor examined the implications of regional economic integration on Somalia’s banking sector.
The EACON2024 conference marks a significant milestone in the journey towards greater regional integration and economic cooperation among East African nations. The presence of high-level policymakers, business leaders, and scholars underscores the collective commitment to addressing challenges and seizing opportunities under the AfCFTA framework. As the conference progresses, the collaborative spirit and strategic initiatives discussed will undoubtedly pave the way for a more integrated, prosperous, and resilient East African Community.
Published On: June 25th, 2024 / Categories: Highlights, News /