Browsing: Doing business in East Africa

East Africa Community (EAC) the Partner States are estimated to have lost international tourism receipts to the tune of  $ 4.8 Billion in the year 2020, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

This follows a study by the East African Business Council (EABC) with the support of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: aimed at assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism and hospitality industry and policy options to protect sector players from COVID-19 disruptions and future pandemics.

Tourism is one of the largest foreign exchange earners and fastest-growing sectors in the East African Community (EAC). According to the EAC Secretariat, tourist arrivals in the EAC region increased from 3.5 million persons in 2006 to about 7 million in 2019. Tourism contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EAC Partner States by an average of 9.5% in 2019. It contributed an average …

Kenyan startup Taz Technologies, the company behind, MPost technology has announced plans to invest Sh200 million to expand to new markets in the region.

Co – Founder and Chief Executive Officer Twahir Mohamed revealed the company plans to seek to finalise Series A funding to help them expand in a bid to increase its presence in the region.

Mohamed said in the next one year the company plans to enter Rwanda and Tanzania and is also eyeing Democratic Republic of Congo the following year.

In 2019, the company closed a Sh190 million Series A funding but got Sh150 million.

“We tested the product, and it’s ready to be exported to other markets. That’s why we are going to the market to source for more funds in a bid to accelerate the development of our product functionalities and create other value-added service offerings,” said Mohammed.

The company’s flagship product MPost is …

Unification is the key to success in the 21st century. This can be seen with the advent of development pacts across the world, particularly the G5, G20, and SADC (Southern African Development Community) to mention a few. 

According to the Kenya High Commission in Dar es Salaam, Kenya and Tanzania have maintained close relations over many years founded on similar ideas in areas such as the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, social and economic order, and good governance, and with a special focus on economic and financial market issues. …

Truck on road

The EAC region has few harmonized regional standards, lengthy harmonization process as well as low adoption rate of harmonized regional standards coupled with varying frameworks of technical regulations across partner states.  

This has led to standards related to NTBs such as costly and time-consuming re-testing processes or denial of market access for certain products.…

Regional economies remained relatively strong despite the pandemic.PIC (KPA)

For instance, Burundi’s raw coffee exports increased from an average of Burundian Franc (BIF) 654 ($0.34) in the Q2’2020 to BIF 4500 ($2.32) in Q3’2020, while Ugandan exports increased by approximately 21 per cent between the second and the third quarter, while in Rwanda non-mineral exports increased by 46 per cent. 

According to the AERC Executive Director Professor Ndungu, the advent of the COVID-19 sent shockwaves in the emerging new sectors, such as tourism, manufacturing and financial intermediation compromising recovery.…

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According to the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO), reduced working hours or job losses as a result of COVID-19 crisis cost the world approximately 255 million jobs in 2020.

Although the full economic impact of the current crisis is still not entirely understood, many people have suffered one blow or another as a result of the pandemic.…

EABC CEO at Busia OSBP with KRA Manager Daniel Wambua

In the East African community trading bloc, poor infrastructure continues to be a huge trade barrier and a major constraint to regional integration and development.

This especially affects shippers who rely on road transport to get goods distributed across the region. Poor infrastructure increases dwell time on the roar which means higher costs making goods to compete unfairly with imports from around the world.

According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s Review of Maritime Transport last year, restrictions affecting inland transportation have created some challenges to cross-border crossings.

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Trucks at one of EAC’s border points

“For example, in some African countries, the time taken to pick up cargo after customs release increased in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Trucks took longer times to return to their departure points due to the restrictions imposed to contain the pandemic. Such disruptions led …

Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) in the East African region are adopting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software technologies, in a bid to improve service provision to businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This follows a two-day training by the East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with GIZ- Business Scouts for Development and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), on using a CRM software set to improve the capacity of BMOs in processing data and communicating effectively with members of the business community.

Speaking during the opening session of the training, EABC CEO Dr. Peter Mathuki urged East African companies to adopt digital business models to improve business resilience and continuity amid the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has brought forth opportunities in e-commerce, which have significantly scaled down the cost of doing business by automating manual office operations and reducing human interaction hence increasing productivity and efficiency,” he said.

Dr. Mathuki also noted that …

The year has begun on a cautiously positive tone with market generally on the uptrend; activity gradually picking up following the end of the Christmas and New Year holidays. The NSE-ASI and NSE-20 are up 1.2% and 1.8%, so far this year respectively. The prospects of improvement in business environment from the depths of 2020, investors are cautiously looking at the attractive valuations in the markets although inherent risks including economic recovery, cashflow constraints and heightened political activity with the likely upcoming referendum. …

The East African Community (EAC) economy will is expected to rebound in 2021. But this will only happen , if EAC Partner States Governments strengthen macro-economic policy coordination and adopt a regional coordinated approach in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, a regional business body has said.

According to the East African Business Council (EABC) secretariat, COVID-19 disruptions in 2020 provided a learning curve, on the need to have sustainable EAC regional value chains integration for the development of finished products with a view of reducing industrial and trade risks arising out of external shocks.

EABC Chairman Mr. Nick Nesbitt noted that the region is projected to recover steadily but it was dependent on how the pandemic is handled.

According to the AfDB East Africa Economic Outlook 2020, the East Africa region is projected to recover to 3.7 percent in the baseline scenario and 2.8 percent in the worst-case scenario under the …