East African trade and investment news

Africa offers world’s fastest ICT market

Published on November 16, 2017

The ICT sphere has undergone distinct stages of evolution and has lately been focusing on going digital, which means shifting the paradigm from traditional business to an intelligent society.

Huawei President, Southern Africa Region, Mr Li Pengon has based on recent studies, seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest growing companies are in Africa, the beginning of a trend that will give rise to new digital economies.

“Digital strategy is generally best seen as a tripartite engagement between the government as enabler, carriers as promoters and technology partners as solution providers in a win-win context. However, based on statistics from Hoot-suite, Africa is a relatively distinctive continent with only 29 per cent of internet penetration and 14 per cent active on social media. Read more. Source | Daily News

East African business leaders discuss regional investments

Published on November 15, 2017

Business leaders attending the 2nd East African Business and Entrepreneurship Conference and Exhibition that is taking place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, are devising ways to promote entrepreneurship and attract more foreign and local investments in the region.

Over 300 high-level government and private sector decision-makers from the EAC Partner States as well as business leaders, East African Diaspora and investors from across the region and abroad are attending the conference.

The event, taking place from November 14-16, 2017 and was co-organised by East African Business Council (EABC), Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), and the East African Community (EAC). Read more. Source | New Times

Government lifts maize exports ban following bumper harvest

Published on November 14, 2017

The ban has been sustained for a long while for reasons that included food shortages in some parts of the country and deliberate efforts to control inflation.

The Minister for Agriculture, Dr Charles Tizeba, announced the decision to do away with the ban when responding to queries raised by members of parliament during debate on the recently-tabled national development plan proposal and budget for the 2018/19 financial year. Read more. Source | Ippmedia

New strategy required to drive EAC industrialisation agenda, experts say

Published on November 14, 2017

The industrial sector should take advantage of the East African Community (EAC) 150 million people and opportunities created by the regional Common Market Protocol to stimulate demand and competitiveness.

Alphonse Kwizera, the Rwanda Association of Manufacturers (RAM) technical expert, said the success of the EAC industrialisation programme will depend on the manufacturing sector’s ability to leverage the opportunities the bloc and other markets on the continent present them to deepen their reach and become sustainable. Read more. Source | New Times

Doors open for maize exports

Published on November 14, 2017

Maize export ban has been lifted, thanks to bumper harvests, which the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) can hardly drain.

The lifting of the June 2017 ban has come as a blessing to some needy East African countries and Tanzanian peasants who have been complaining over unreliable markets for their produce.

Agriculture Minister Dr Charles Tizeba, debating the 2018 fiscal budget draft and proposed National Development Plan in the National Assembly here yesterday, said the move follows an assessment on the current food stock against NFRA budget for maize purchase. Read more. Source | Daily News

Mutukula border facility to be launched today

Published on November 14, 2017

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli will today officially launch the $12 million (Shs43.8 billion) Mutukula One Stop Border post (OSBP) facility that is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business.

The United Kingdom’s Development for International Development (DFID) funded the infrastructure component while the Canadian development agency and Global Affairs financed the operationalization of facility through Trademark East Africa.

The OSBP is a “one stop” form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighboring countries and where activities are streamlined to maximise efficiency. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor

New initiative seeks to ease SME access to finance

Published on November 13, 2017

More small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) could find it easy to access affordable finance, thanks to a new initiative by Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESPartners), an entrepreneurship support organisation.

La Finance s’Engage Rwanda will seek to improve access to funding by small businesses, according to the firm’s officials. In 2016, a similar initiative raised about $2 billion from financial institutions to support SMEs in West Africa, particularly Ivory Coast. Read more. Source | New Times

Doing Business: Govt to introduce 15 new reforms

Published on November 13, 2017

The government plans to roll out 15 new reforms across various sectors over the next six months, as a means to ease doing business in the country.

The development follows recent World Bank Doing Business Report that ranked Rwanda 41st globally and second in Africa out of the 190 economies globally.

The reforms are informed by the report and attempt to address key concerns of investors across the World Bank Doing Business report’s indicators. Read more. Source | New Times

Government urges traders to embrace electronic system

Published on November 09, 2017

Ministry of Trade has urged clearing agents and traders to embrace the Uganda Electronic Single Window System in order to speed up trade and customs clearance activities for goods and services. 
The electronic single window, launched in 2016 by the ministry, is an online trade facilitation government initiative that, among others, enables international cross- border trade. 

Through the system, traders are able to electronically submit their documents and information for clearance and certification to various government and regulatory agencies from a single location. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor

How technology is primed to transform farming in Rwanda

Published on November 09, 2017

A new application designed to provide farmers with timely information on climate change, crops, livestock and diseases affecting them for informed decision making has been tested for effectiveness.

The application will provide data on state of weather, amount of rain and soil humidity, and livestock performance to ensure better farm management and productivity, as well as market information on produce.

It is intended to reduce the effects of climate change, and diseases on crops, so that farmers get yield in a sustainable manner, according to developers. Read more. Source | New Times