Poor production methods cited among factors hindering regional trade


Lack of standards specifications, poor production methods, poor finish, reduced lifespan and sub- standard issues have been cited as factors hindering the export growth of the products manufactured by the Micro Small and Medium-sized Entreprises (MSMEs) in the region.

This was said during the inaugural regional consultative forum on  MSMEs held at East African Business Council Secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania.

MSMEs are the most dynamic and fastest-growing sectors in EAC, contributing to approximately 85 per cent of employment and approximately 25 per cent to the GDP of the EAC Partner States.

This was emphasized by Mr. Richard Muteti, CEO Confederation of Micro and Small Enterprises Organisation East Africa (CMSEOEA).

Also Read: e-Commerce deal to link Kenyan SMEs to markets

“Despite the importance of the MSMEs to the economy, there isn’t a tailor-made policy at EAC level focusing on the promotion of MSMEs,” said the East African Business Council (EABC) Mr Peter Mathuki.

“Partnership with EABC will enhance us to speak in one voice on common issues facing business such as NTBs and harmonization of standards.” Saidb Mr Josephat Rweyemamu, Chairman of CMSEOEA.

The partnership is expected to increase economic vibrancy by enhancing forward and backward linkages to boost job creation, quality of the jobs and products manufactured by MSMEs.

In her remarks, EABC Director Mrs Mary Ngechu noted that EABC will represent MSMEs issues in the high-level meeting with the EAC Heads of State and Council of Ministers” said.

Innovations, exposure visits, capacity building, B2B linkages between micro and large industries and access to market are among the focus areas of the partnership.

The EABC is organing the East African Business and Investment Summit on 28th -29th November 2019, preceding the Summit of the EAC Heads of State. The business summit is expected to set out the economic agenda for East Africa; hence important to incorporate MSMEs in the region.

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 was granted observer status in organs and activities of the East African Community (EAC) and 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.

Also Read: East African SMES ready to tap into the wider African market

Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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