A regional business lobby has been taking a lead to advocate for liberalization of professional services across the EAC borders. The body, East African Business Council (EABC) brought together key players from the business community, to share insights, which were instrumental in the formulation of the Mutual Recognition Agreements for Accountants, Architects, Engineers and Veterinaries. Read more. Source | The Exchange
EAC COMMON MARKET IMPLEMENTATION Impact of Container Cash Deposit Requirement in Kenya: The Case of Private Sector Firms in Rwanda
To highlight the impact of Mombasa Port container cash charges on regional trade and business, the Hub created the following case study focused on Rwanda private sector firms. The study demonstrates the need for a solution to the cash deposit requirement in order to reduce the cost of doing business. The study reveals long administrative time gaps between claim submission and deposit recovery that impact on business cash flow and adds financial burdens, particularly to smaller freight forwarders. It also leads to an increase in operational costs that are ultimately passed on to consumers. The study further reveals how the utilization of a guarantee scheme has enabled some of the firms to reduce costs.
Kenya will next month waive duty to allow millers to import maize from Uganda and Tanzania. Kenyan traders imported more than 77,500 tonnes of maize worth $31.2 million since January from its neighbours. This is the highest amount of imports in the past five years as drought and the effects of the fall armyworm manifest in the country’s staple.
Outgoing Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said that the government would, through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, formalise importation of maize. Read more. Source | East Africa
The East African Business Council (EABC) board met in Kigali, last week, to discuss strategies that will help encourage the implementation of key projects by East African Community (EAC) states that seek to improve the business environment.
This comes on the back of a lot of frustration among the business community because of the slow pace by Partner States in the implementation process despite Heads of State directives for the projects to be prioritized. Read more. Source | New Times
The rapidly transforming agrifood systems have the potential to drive the expansion of youth employment and broadbased economic development in East Africa.
Agriculture is widely perceived by youth as an unappealing, traditional, labour intensive farm activity not as a potentially high-profit business activity. However, according to African Economic Outlook, agriculture sector currently involves a spectrum of new opportunities on and off the farm connected to marketing, processing, packaging and food service, in addition to on-farm production. Read more. Source | Daily News
As competition among ports in Eastern and Southern Africa stiffens, the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has decided to come up with a Master Plan for establishment of dry ports in strategic regions, to ease clearance and shipment of transit cargo to neighbouring countries.
This was revealed by TPA Director General, Engineer Deusdedit Kakoko at Ruvu-Vigwaza area in the Coast Region over the weekend, where he accompanied Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa to Kwala area to inspect an ongoing construction of a dry port.
In his details, Engineer Kakoko said for years now TPA has been operating its dry ports, including constructing new ones but without a Master Plan - a dynamic, short and long-term planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development. Read more. Source | Daily News
East Africa’s industrial performance has in recent years stood above the global average, but stayed around the average of sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report.
The EAC Industrial Competitiveness Report 2017states that these growth rates, as measured by the Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) and manufacturing trade growth rates, fall short of some of the targets set in the EAC industrialisation policy. They are also below similar regional economic communities in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ecowas.
Discounting by population size, the report shows that the EAC is still registering a low level of industrial production. And, based on the current growth rate, the region would only attain an MVA per capita level of about $87 in 2032, which is well below the goal of $258 set in the EAC Industrialisation Policy, and would not allow it to reach SADC’s production capacity of 2015. Read more. Source | The East African
The Republic of Madagascar has become the 20th country to sign the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement. The agreement brings together three regional economic communities-COMESA, EAC and SADC- into a single free trade area. The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) constitutes 57% of Africa’s population with a combined GDP of US$1.3 trillion as of 2015, making it one of the largest free trade areas in the world.
The Tripartite Agreement was signed on Thursday 13th July 2017 by His Excellency Mahafaly Solonandrasana Olivier, Prime Minister of the Republic of Madagascar, on behalf of the Government, in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General of COMESA, who represented the Secretary General of the East African Community and the current Chairperson of the Tripartite Task Force, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, and the Secretary General of SADC, Dr. Stergomena. Read more. Source | East African Community
On June 22, Burundi’s National Assembly adopted draft law on the ratification of the East African Community Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures (EAC SPS Protocol) pursuant to Section 8 of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012, essentially signaling the country’s approval of EAC SPS Protocol. This follows a high-level awareness raising meeting convened by the Hub in March 2017, in partnership with the Burundi Bureau of Standards and Quality Control (BBN). The meeting specifically aimed at raising awareness on EAC SPS Protocol and the need to support and fast track its ratification in the country. (Please also refer to this link: http://www.assemblee.bi/Analyse-et-adoption-du-Projet-de,1525 – note that it is in French)
The protocol harmonizes regional measures that align the EAC Partner States with each other and with global markets, ensuring easier trade. The measures seek to protect human and animal life from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or disease causing organisms in their food. The measures, which also take into account plant life, seek to mitigate damage to a country from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases or disease causing elements. The EAC SPS Protocol is expected to promote trade in food and agricultural commodities and strengthen the application of a harmonized approach for implementation of SPS measures and activities.
With the Parliaments ratification, the next stage will be to forward the protocol’s instruments of operation to the Ministry responsible for EAC affairs, and then to the EAC Secretariat. Burundi now joins Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda as the EAC Partner States that have ratified the SPS Protocol. Next steps for the Hub include supporting Tanzania to ratify the EAC Protocol on SPS.
East African Community (EAC) member states have prioritised development expenditure as countries look to further strengthen the growth agenda of the regional economies.
In the national budget estimates presented yesterday, Tanzania will be spending $14.21 billion and Uganda $8.09 billion in the fiscal year 2016/17. Rwanda plans to spend some Rwf2.09 trillion compared to the Rwf1.95 trillion spent this fiscal year.
Kenya’s budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal year was presented in March to give room for the forthcoming general elections in August. The EAC states presented their 2017/18 budgets under the theme, ‘Industrialisation for job-creation and shared prosperity’. Read more. Source | New Times