East African Community

World Bank further notes that the unified digitisation of the East African economy is estimated to generate up to a US$2.6 billion boost in GDP and 4.5 million new jobs that will largely benefit those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Data by GSMA reveals that by the end of 2020, 495 million people subscribed to mobile services in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing 46 percent of the region’s population, an increase of almost 20 million on 2019.

GSMA revealed that smartphone connections will more than double by 2025 in Sub-Saharan Africa with the East African Community registering the largest incremental growth, led by Rwanda and Tanzania. 

The CET maximum rate was a realization by the EAC Secretariat on the proposed Common External Tariff (CET) rates of 30 per cent, 33 per cent and 35 per cent classified under the fourth (maximum) band, which include textiles, iron, steel and motor vehicles.

The East African Business Council (EABC) urges the partner states- Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan- to adopt the maximum CET tariff trade to spur industrialization and strengthen the regional value chain.

In 2020, the total intra-EAC trade stood at 11.8 per cent, amounting to US$6.39 billion. The proposed 35 per cent tariff is set to boost the trade between EAC member states to US$6.4 billion.

The AfCFTA is the largest trade agreement, by composition of countries enjoined, since the formation of the World Trade Organization. Currently, 54 out of the 55 African countries have signed the AfCFTA, with 41 having ratified it.

The agreement is set to ultimately open up the African market to trade freely, will boost intra-African trade and trigger structural transformation with the goal of reducing poverty.