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Increasing awareness of the EAC Common Market in Zanzibar

Published on May 27, 2016
On May 26, the Hub in conjunction with the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (ZNCCIA) hosted public and private sector players from Zanzibar to a Public Private Dialogue on the implementation of the Common Market Protocol. Among those present were businesspeople, industry association representatives and representatives of government agencies with responsibilities related to the EAC Common Market Protocol.
"The level of awareness about the EAC common market is very low in Zanzibar. We really need to educate the private sector about it" – Ms. Munira Humoud, Executive Director, Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ZNNCIA)
Private sector and industry associations were clear that there is a dire need for more awareness and education about the common market and the rights, obligations and opportunities therein for Zanzibar businesses. A number of constraints were also raised that are inhibiting the growth of trade, such as imposition of several trade levies, lack of capacity to effectively administer technical regulations and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, and the high cost of transport. These issues significantly increase the cost of doing business and results in lost opportunities for entrepreneurs.
"The export industry is relatively under-developed in Zanzibar. The situation is especially critical for the smaller players. Without increasing our production capacity, we cannot benefit from the common market." – Mr. Khamis Issa Mohammed, Secretary General, Zanzibar Exporters Association & Managing Director, Tanzania Zanzibar Organic Producers LTD.
The Hub through its trade policy component is working closely with private sector associations across the EAC to enhance their ability to exercise their rights and opportunities under the EAC Common Market Protocol.