United Kingdom High Commissioner to Tanzania David William Concar has visited the East African Business Council (EABC) Offices in Arusha.
EABC is the regional apex body of private sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African countries which was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the private sector in the integration process of the East African Community.
The UK High Commissioner was welcomed by EABC Chief Executive Officer Mr. John Bosco Kalisa on Monday July 05, 2021 which was his debut day in office.
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA)
Mr. Kalisa who made his remarks while in his office appreciated the United Kingdom (UK) support to East African Business Council through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and highlighted the importance of the private sector as the driver of socio-economic growth in the East African Community region.
TMEA works closely with EAC institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organizations to increase trade by unlocking economic potential through reducing barriers to trade and increased business competitiveness.
It is funded by a range of development agencies to promote prosperity in East Africa through trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, UK, and USA.
Established in 2010, TMEA supports a portfolio of programmes across the East Africa Community partner countries, working closely with our partners – the EAC Partner States, EAC Secretariat, the private sector and civil society – TMEA has made a significant contribution to this growth by delivering large scale impact in its highly successful first strategic phase which was completed in December 2017.
Strengthening EABC’s advocacy
“UK’s support is vital towards strengthening EABC’s advocacy & research role to boost intra-EAC trade and investments,” said Mr. John Bosco Kalisa.
He further noted that EAC bloc is the fastest growing regional economic community in Africa projected to grow at 3.6% in 2021(AfDB).
This offers lee-way for EAC champion the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for increase prosperity in Africa, as it avalils 1.3 billion consumer market.
“EABC has been at the forefront of supporting resilience and recovery by calling for a regional coordinated approach on the handling of COVID-19 in the EAC. COVID-19 was projected to cost USD. 37 billion – USD. 70 billion as output losses on EAC countries,” said Mr. Kalisa.
He elaborated on the importance of strengthening public-private dialogue from national to EAC and AfCFTA levels, support to Youth and Women in Business, Digitalization for COVID-19 resilience and recovery, elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, tackling climate change and Green energy as well as trade facilitation and digitalization of infrastructure – ports and roads.
“With the deep political commitment and goodwill from the Summit of the EAC Heads of State, there is high hope and optimism on openness and growth of trade and investment in the EAC bloc,” Mr. Kalisa further elaborated.
Way out of poverty
On his part, H.E. David Concar, United Kingdom – High Commissioner to Tanzania said, the EAC regional integration is a way out of poverty, an opportunity to create more jobs for the East African youth for sustainable development.
David Concara congratulated and appreciated Mr. Kalisa for kicking off his first day of duty at EABC Secretariat Offices in Arusha, by hosting his delegation.