East African trade and investment news

Tripartite Africa free trade zone now preparing for launch in May

Published on February 25, 2015

Negotiations have been finalized in preparation for the launch of Africa’s largest free trade area in May, officials said on Tuesday. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Assistant Secretary Kipyego Cheluget told a media briefing in Nairobi that the free trade zone will result from merger of the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and COMESA. "All the 26 member states in the three trading blocs have expressed great political will to allow the free movement of goods and services by end of May," Cheluget said during the opening ceremony of the Afrik4r-Comesa 1st peer review meeting. Read more. Source|

Exports are on the Rise in Tanzania

Published on February 25, 2015

The value of Tanzania’s exports has risen up from about $8.46 billion recorded in December 2013 to $8.81 billion for the year ended December 2014 due to a good performance in exports of manufactured goods and travel receipts. The monthly economic review of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) suggests that a significant increase of 33.8 percent was recorded in the export value of goods such as edible oil, textile apparels, plastic goods, fertilizers and paper products. Consequently, the collective value of these goods rose to $1.43 billion. Read more. Source|Ventures Africa

Reforming the African Growth and Opportunity Act to grow agriculture trade

Published on February 25, 2015

Expanding opportunities for sub-Saharan African agriculture exports to the U.S. will produce a range of benefits:

  • It will help drive growth and employment in the agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa, which is responsible for 30 percent of GDP and 70 percent of employment. This growth will also create employment opportunities for woman, as they comprise about 50 percent of the agriculture labor force in the region.
  • The labor intensity of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa means that policies to promote growth in the agriculture sector will be most effective at reducing poverty.
  • Growth in the agriculture sector will help address growing youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa.[1] This is particularly important given sub-Saharan Africa’s so-called youth bulge, in which increasing numbers of young people are entering the job market this decade.
  • It will diversify U.S. trade with sub-Saharan Africa, which is currently dominated by oil and gas exports. 


East African leaders calling for implementation of monetary union

Published on February 24, 2015

The East African Community (EAC) leaders have called for the speedy implementation of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU). Incoming Chair of the EAC Summit Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said all the partner states have ratified the protocol on the establishment of the EAMU. Read more. Source|

Tanzania’s president takes over EAC chairmanship from Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta

Published on February 24, 2015

Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, has officially taken over from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta as the new Chairman of East African Community (EAC). He assumed the position during the 16th East Africa Community Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya. Kikwete, who spoke after taking over, said that there is the need to eliminate non-tariff barriers to intra-community trade. According to him, these barriers deny the EAC opportunities to unlock promising potentials that stem from regional integration. Read more. Source|Ventures Africa

Textile industries for revival in EAC

Published on February 24, 2015

Textile and tanner industries in East Africa are set for vast revival as Heads of the East African Community member states agree to set up a mechanism that will promote growth and protection of the two industries. Read more. Source|Daily News

Kenya shilling best performing regional currency.

Published on February 23, 2015

The Kenya shilling has gained on its East African peers to emerge the best performing regional currency so far this year helped by a wider export base and strong investor inflows. Read more. Source|Business Daily.

Uganda scraps work permits and visa fees for Kenyans and Rwandans

Published on February 23, 2015

Uganda has scrapped work permit fees and visa requirements for Kenyans and Rwandans entering and leaving the country.The decision is in line with the ongoing implementation of the “free movement” system under the East African Community Common Market Protocol that was signed in 2009 by presidents Museveni (Uganda), Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi. Read more. Source|The Citizen

New interchanges along Northern Corridor to improve users’ safety

Published on February 23, 2015

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has started improving key inter-sections along the Northern Corridor - from Mombasa to Malaba by changing the grade traffic flows to enhance road users' safety. KeNHA Manager in Charge of Special Projects Eng Paul Omondi said the roads authority was prompted to construct three interchanges along the Northern Corridor at a cost of Sh2.6 billion to up the standards of road safety. Read more. Source|Standard Digital.

East Africa Region to see over $2b in fuel savings

Published on February 23, 2015

Kenya and Tanzania are set to save around $2 billion in lower fuel costs on oil imports over the next year, but economists remain uncertain about whether the energy price drop is good or bad news for the East African economies as a whole. Read more. Source|The East African


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