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The AfCFTA presents a significant opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day.  The AfCFTA is the new anchor to pull multinationals to invest in Africa.

This agreement not only brings hope to African governments but also encourages current efforts on the ground, which improve jobs in Africa.  

The World Bank points out that the AfCFTA will create the largest free trade area in the world, measured by the number of countries participating. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $3.4 trillion.   

It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures. …

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The EAC Trade & Investment Report (2020) shows EAC exports globally stood at US$16.2 billion in 2020 while imports at US$35.6 billion, registering a negative trade balance of US$19.4 billion.

Agayo Ogambi from the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa said Mombasa port throughput declined by 0.9 per cent in 2020. A total of 34.13 million tonnes of cargo were handled in 2020, which is 1.8 million tonnes shy of the target of 35.90 million tonnes in 2019.

Containerized cargo declined by 4 per cent from 1.4 tonnes (2019) to 1.35 million tonnes (2020).

Ogambi called upon government agencies to render services that are commensurate to the fees charged, as outlined in Article 6 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.…

This platform aims to harness the potential of the potato value chain in the region to enable proper production and commercialization of the food crop on the realization that it is one of the key agricultural produce traded and consumed widely.  Over 2.2 million farmers across the EAC partner states earn their living from the potato sector.  

The Jumuiya Potato Platform has now been formalized under a Public-Private Partnership structure to enable sustainable research, innovation and free trade right from the potato seed. 

The Potato Platform has been arrived at after a series of engagements between stakeholders representing national governments on the public front, farmers and traders on the private side with guidance from the EAC Secretariat and the EABC. Facilitated by GIZ, the stakeholders launched Jumuiya Potato Platform after a two-day regional meeting held in Kampala. …

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The East African Business Council (EABC) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) say the unilateral bans on products, high fees by the Agriculture & Food Authority (AFA)-Kenya, trade information asymmetry and single lane road on Kenya’s side stifle business between the two East African countries.

Cross border traders decried the impounding of fish from Kenya destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo worth Ksh40 million in October 2021 by Uganda and import ban on eggs and sugarcane by Kenya.…

Because EAC products have been denied preferential market access as a result of trade sanctions, intra-EAC trade is currently at a low of 15 per cent, which will worsen employment opportunities, market access, and the economies of scale of our sectors for East Africans as a whole.

NTBs not only increase the time and cost of doing business across borders, but they also reduce the competitiveness of EAC-produced goods.

NTBs persist and grow because of the lack of an effective EAC trade dispute settlement system (the EAC Trade Remedies Committee) and the poor speed of resolution of NTBs by the EAC Reginal Monitoring Committee (EMC). …

The lack of harmonised standards, failure to implement the Single African Air Transport Market (Saatm) and the export of raw commodities remain the continent’s biggest obstacles to trade.

In addition, African countries have some of the most rigid visa and work permit requirements, they have multiple testing agencies and erect unnecessary roadblocks for random checks along transport corridors which increases the cost of cross-border trade.

This, eventually, deals a blow to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which also happen to be the backbone of the continent’s economy.…

  • The private sector in the community has been urged to drive the buy and build East Africa initiative
  • Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the EAC dropped by 43% to USD. 4.9 billion in 2020
  • Jobs declined by 2%, wiping out the gains made in previous year

Trade between East Africa Community countries dropped by 5.5% to USD. 5.9 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19 while exports from the bloc to the world hit 16.2 billion in 2020 a 3% boost in comparison to  2019.

This is according to the East Africa Business Council CEO John Bosco Kalisa who urged the private sector in the community to drive the buy East African, build East Africa narrative.

He added that the campaign is central in driving the economic recovery agenda for the EAC bloc amid COVID-19 pandemic.

He spoke during a webinar on EAC Trade & Investment Recovery amidst COVID-19 organized by …

Private sector players in the region have expressed optimism in making steps towards the recovery of Covid-19.

This follows a commitment by the East African Community Secretariat to prioritize strengthening public-private sector partnerships between the private sector in the region and the EAC Partner States governments, to jointly invest in vaccine manufacturing in the region.

The EAC Secretary-General, Dr Peter Mathuki said that there was a need for a coordinated approach in handling COVID-19 in the region and emphasized the need for local production of vaccines.

“EAC is working on strengthening partnerships between the private sector and EAC Partner States’ governments, to jointly establish an investment in vaccine manufacturing, to ensure the region can produce and avail vaccines to East Africans. Truck drivers transporting goods across the region should also be included among the priority groups who need to be vaccinated,” Dr Mathuki said.

Mathuki also noted that the EAC …

The EAC bloc should urgently work to attract international investors and embark on joint regional investments in the vaccine manufacturing industry for quick economic recovery.

This is according to East African Business Council Chairman Nicholas Nesbitt who is calling for a coordinated approach on COVID-19 measures to spur EAC economic recovery and growth.

Nesbitt noted that joint EAC investment offers a larger pool of capital resources, expertise and market.

At the same time, EAC’s board has directed the EABC Secretariat to champion advocacy on the adoption of open skies and one network area to reduce the cost of doing business in the region.

The board said that open skies attract regional tourism and improve consolidation of EAC exports to overseas markets such as horticulture.

According to the board, open skies are also critical in supporting the resilience and recovery of tourism, hospitality and transport sectors, which were highly impacted by …

Business people in the East African Community are now set to benefit through prompt resolution and intervention of issues disrupting trade, following the launch of the EAC-EABC Technical Working group (TWG).

Based in Arusha Tanzania, the Technical Working Group launched by the East African Community (EAC) and East African Business Council (EABC) – the umbrella body bringing together private sector associations in East Africa- is tasked with receiving and synthesizing issues received from the private sector at various levels and advise on appropriate solutions.

A statement by the EAC-EABC has revealed that the team will be chaired by EAC Director General for Customs and Trade, Kenneth Bagamuhunda and co-chaired by EABC CEO John Bosco Kalisa. It will also entail members from the national apex private sector associations in the EAC region.

The team will be responsible for following up on challenges disrupting intra-EAC trade raised by businesses and support their …