On December 11, the Hub, in partnership with the Tanzania's Private Sector Association, Ministry of East African Cooperation, and Ministry of Industry and Trade, held a public private dialogue (PPD) on the implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol in Tanzania.
The PPD brought together Tanzania's private sector players, industry regulators and government ministries with responsibilities connected to the Protocol. The meeting was preceded by an informal breakfast meeting bringing together key stakeholders including TPSF, Africa Lead, the American Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania and the Hub.
Key issues cited at the PPD, among others:
The private sector perspective
- Liberalization of the movement of services and labors has been too slow; it is negatively impacting the growth of private sector.
- NTBs (Non-tariff barriers), including domestic ones, are a major bottleneck for transporters and exporters. Issues relating to quality and standards requirements, testing, and corruption are the most common.
- Lack of harmonized border management working hours, excessive toll charges, transit charges levied by Kenya’s new county governments (Kajiado and Kwale), delayed implementation of the NTB Act, and weaknesses associated with NTB committees.
The public sector perspective
- Tanzania’s committees for CMP implementation are functional and regularly report on progress – such as reduction in roadblocks, results of corridor surveillance activities, reduction in waiting times for issuance of certificates of origin and reforms in truck weighing modalities, etc.
- The ministry has a CMP implementation strategy, which includes private sector participation opportunities in the national monitoring committee. The ministry has also increased the issuance of certificates of origin over the last 5 years and the issuance of machine-readable IDs. It has increased processing of work permits and has reformed capital markets and capital account regulations.
- The Ministry has held sensitization activities on reforms, but notes that it does need to do more.
This event marked an initial step by the Hub towards establishing a program of action in support of the Protocol's implementation in Tanzania. The Hub has already held similar PPDs in Kenya and Uganda and will soon be holding one in Rwanda.