The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub works to promote a more predictable, transparent and enabling business environment in East Africa, conducive to trade competitiveness and accelerated investment. Over the course of five years, activities under this component will achieve a 100 percent increase in the value of intra-regional trade in the EAC by advancing the implementation of the principles of regional integration, and enabling partner states to comply with intra-regional and international trade agreements and conformity to international standards.
The Hub team works closely with a network of private businesses, investment firms and trade associations, as well as other development partners, to gather, collate and assess evidence for trade policy and regulatory reform. It then initiates dialogue with policy makers and regulators.
Over the last two years, the Hub’s trade policy and regulatory reform activities helped achieve a 39% increase in intra-regional trade within the EAC. Hub activities supported the acceleration of the compliance by the EAC Partner States with the U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement, implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol (CMP) and enabling policies for an improved business ecosystem.
Under the U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement, the Hub has supported both regional and national level WTO TBT and SPS compliance. With Hub's support, all EAC Partner States adopted the ePing electronic notification system (ENS); ENS meets the obligation for notification under the Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, SPS and TBT (an agreement that requires EAC Partner States to establish an effective process to ensure that they notify proposed measures on TBT and SPS to other WTO members). ePing will also allow the Partner States to access other WTO members' TBT and SPS measure notifications, and facilitate dialogue among the public and private sector in addressing potential trade problems at an early stage. Currently, both Uganda and Rwanda have adopted the ePing system, with Tanzania and Kenya agreeing in principle to use the system. Watch the video below:
Related Blogs and Resources
Published on September 27, 2017
Traders and clearing agents have welcomed the initiative by Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and other government agencies to implement 24-hour operations at Rusumo on the Rwanda-Tanzania border. The facility will also work as one stop border post (OSBP), according to RRA officials.
The local business community says the move will greatly boost cross-border trade and reduce transit time.
Raphael Tugirumuremyi, the RRA Commissioner of customs, said the border will effective October 2 start 24-hour operations, adding that the move was agreed on by Heads of States of Rwanda and Tanzania during official opening of the facility last year. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on September 27, 2017
East African Community partner states have made progress in the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), doing away with 116 of these in the past eight years.
Between 2009 to May 2017, they have also introduced 20 new ones and resolved three, while 17 remain unresolved.
Burundi is the only partner that did not impose any NTB on goods originating from the EAC in the past six months, a new NTB time-bound elimination report shows. Read more. Source | East African
Published on September 27, 2017
Sometime last year when a group of Kenyan traders accused Tanzania of making their goods too expensive in its market by collecting the Railway Development Levy (RDL) on them, few bureaucrats paid much attention to the complaints.
Kenya was the first country to introduce the RDL in 2013, which is collected at the rate of 1.5 per cent on home-bound imports.Through their lobby, the East African Business Council, the region’s traders successfully talked the government out of the tax in 2014 — which they had labelled as one of the non-tariff barriers of the time. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Published on September 26, 2017
Private sector executives in Kenya, led by Hub grantee the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), have petitioned Parliament to amend a number of laws that have continued to hinder business transactions in the country and the region.
During a session in parliament, KEPSA proposed the application of a ‘common market test’ that seeks to ensure that the Kenyan parliament does not pass trade and investment-limiting laws. Application of a common market test to all new legislation will ensure that no trade and investment-restricting measures exist in those laws. New MPs were further sensitized to the fact that domestic improvements to complying with the EAC Common Market Protocol are an important start for Kenya to similarly request reforms in other EAC Partner States when Kenya's trade and investment interests are affected. Recently, KEPSA finalized peer-to-peer meetings with Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) where they developed a joint memorandum of reform issues to further remove trade and investment obstacles between the two countries. This memorandum was a result of peer-to-peer dialogue covering several sectors connected with the movement of capital, services and goods and involved both Kenyan and Tanzanian companies affected by measures imposed by the two countries, particularly in view of the recent trade disputes between the two neighbors. This joint memorandum is currently being shared with respective ministers responsible for trade and investment in the two countries.
The Hub works with KEPSA to strengthen private sector abilities to identify key policy inhibitors to:
Implement the EAC Common Market Protocol
Improve on private sector capabilities to develop reform memoranda
Engage in dialogue for legal, regulatory and administrative reforms.
The Hub and KEPSA partnership creates new private sector opportunities and boost regional trade.
Published on September 20, 2017
Leaders (think-tanks in this vein) have thought of coming together to form joint blocs to help them address the challenges, but a prominent Nigerian ScholarChinua Achebe has begged to know if the war would be won if individual member states still treat each other with suspicion through a character he calls Okwonkwo asking his brothers a question that ‘how can we fight a common enemy if my own brothers have turned against me?’
This is the typical picture each member state ought to address to uplift young brother like South Sudan now facing famine, civil strife, poor infrastructures and others in their East Africa Community (EAC). Read more. Source | Daily News
Published on September 19, 2017
African continent is set to fast track continental free trade area early next year to create single market for goods and services.
Head, of Trade Division in the African Union Commission Mr Nadir Merah said in Dar es Salaam yesterday at the threeday-workshop that the initiative focuses at improving Africa’s competitiveness in the global economy.
“We need to fast track free trade areas as soon as possible. Towards end of January next year, we will present to the heads of the states the final paper on the initiative,” he said adding that the workshop seeks to discuss ways to improve communications and information systems on business and finance. Read more. Source | Daily News
Published on September 14, 2017
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya has urged member states to fast track harmonisation of policies in the mining industry to make the sector more competitive and profitable.
According to Ngenya, the sector’s potential can only be sustainably harnessed through establishment of governance structures and leveraging on the existing multinational trade agreements.
Ngwenya told The New Times that sound institutional frameworks will enable COMESA’s national and sub-national governments to have a say in decisions regarding the use of the resources located in their territories including minerals if they harmonise policies regulating the sector. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on September 11, 2017
Tanzania and Kenya have agreed to end the trade barriers at the borders in afresh bid to improve bilateral cooperation and investment.
This was said on Saturday September 9, in Dar es Salaam by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment, Prof Adolf Mkenda,at the end of talks involving senior leaders from the two countries. Read more. Source | The Citizen