The East African Community (EAC)

The East African Community (EAC)
Tel: + 250 252 599120

Location: 4th Floor, MINAFFET Building, Kimihurura
Postal Address: P.O. Box 267, Kigali, Rwanda

EAC Secretary General, Mr Amanya Mushega: Copy world best economies, EAC told
East African Community partner states have been challenged to benchmark themselves with the world’s most advanced economies if they are to grow.East African Community partner states have been challenged to benchmark themselves with the world’s most advanced economies if they are to grow.This was said by former EAC Secretary General, Mr Amanya Mushega, who said EAC needs to revisit and do away with the standard way of judging itself by sub-Saharan African standards.“India, Singapore and South Africa refused to treat themselves that way. They aimed high, looked at the way the USA, Japan, Germany, UK and the USSR developed their human resources, copied them with the view to competing with them,” Mr Mushega said. Read more
EAC: What next after regional heads defer EPA deal?
In a frantic attempt to salvage the bloc’s position, the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State agreed to extend the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement with European Union (EU).Despite this development, some member states such as Kenya and Rwanda have already put pen to paper while Uganda has expressed desire to follow suit, saying this is a life time opportunity that should not be allowed to slip away. Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, who is the chairman of the EAC summit, said they need more time to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) agreement further.For that, it was agreed that after three months, (in January 2017), a harmonised regional position would have been arrived at.Originally, the deadline for the agreement, but some member states including Kenya and Rwanda could not wait to sign it as Uganda indicated interest to follow suit. Read more
EAC: Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania target private investments worth U.S.$10 billion
East African countries want private investors to take up projects worth about $10 billion to fast-track economic development and lift millions out of poverty.Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda unveiled projects worth $9.9 billion at a recent Global African Investment Summit held in Kigali.Analysts believe the three countries are capable of attracting investors because East Africa still presents opportunities for businesses looking for quick returns on investments.Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania presented projects valued at $7.3 billion, $1.5 billion and $1.08 billion respectively. This points to the region's growing appetite for private capital inflows to stimulate growth.Tanzanian authorities are looking for investors in the rehabilitation and expansion of three airports and also construction of a new one. It is hoped the investments will help foster regional integration, and boost intra-African trade as well as tourism.According to Clifford K Tandari, acting executive director of the Tanzania Investment Centre, construction of a new airport at Msalato is in the pipeline to the travels to new capital Dodoma. The project is estimated to cost at least $165 million. Read more
EAC countries to help Agro processors cope with effects of climate change
EAC countries have been advised to build the capacity of Agro processing industries in respective countries, so that they can be able to cope with emerging issues of climate change.Effects of climate change on the industry include reduced raw materials due to either prolonged dry spell or flooding which all lead to food losses among others.The call was made by the minister of state for Industry in the ministry of trade, Michael Werikhe Kafabusa while officiating at the first PACT EAC regional meeting at Silver Springs Hotel recently. It was organized by SEATINI Uganda and CUTS International.The project Promoting Agriculture climate Trade (PACT) linkages in East Africa Phase2 builds capacities of East Africans for climate change awareness, trade driven, and foods security enhancing agro processing in the region.Werikhe said that Agro industrial development presents substantial prospects for the region generating economic growth, new sources of food and income leading to poverty reduction."It is therefore important to support them through capacity building so that they are aware of the realities of climate change in their works and prepare them so that they can remain productive in the face of effects of climate change," said Werikhe. Read more
EAC improves ranking in doing business - World Bank report
The move by the regional states to interconnect its infrastructure has elevated the East African countries’ (EAC) status in the World Bank logistics ranking.
The improvement is an important indicator in attracting foreign investment into the region.The ranking is a tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance According to the World Bank Logistics Performance Index, a survey conducted by the institution on the efficiency of trade logistics in 160 countries, has seen EAC countries, among them Uganda, climb up the efficiency ladder.The survey indicates that in Africa, the regional countries competed strongly, with Kenya being ranked second, Uganda coming fifth, and Tanzania and Rwanda settling in the tenth and eleventh position while Burundi occupies the 13th place. Read more
Grain traders ask EAC govts to support inter-regional business
Grain traders have called on the Eastern African Community governments to support intra-regional trade in staple foods to achieve food safety in the region.Through their umbrella organisation the East African Grain Council (EAGC), the directors while meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, underscored the role of trade in facilitating the movement of food commodities from surplus production areas to deficit areas. EAGC board chairman Dr Bernard Otim (Uganda), in a communication, said: "Trade was the only sure way for the people to transact and exchange value and thereby raise the standards of living of the citizens. We call upon EAC governments to commit to supporting regional integration and facilitate trade."The EAGC directors asked national and regional governments to institute a model of engagement with the grain stakeholders for evidence based consultative processes before any ad hoc policy decisions are enacted. Read more
EAC: Business council cautions on domestic tax harmonisation
Tax harmonisation across the East African Community (EAC) member States is the way to go if the countries in the bloc are to attain economic union, the East African Business Council (EABC) has said. The countries’ huge disparities in tax administration and systems have had a negative effect on achieving principal freedoms enshrined in EAC customs union and common market.In trying to rectify these disparities, experts from the member States have resumed discussion on how harmonisation of domestic taxes will be handled.Speaking at the opening of the technical working group meeting in Arusha - Tanzania yesterday, the executive director EABC, Ms Lillian Awinja, said: “Tax harmonisation is an element that runs through all stages of EAC integration, including the EAC customs union, common market, monetary union and political federation.” Read more
Agriculture SMEs not benefiting from EAC markets
"As a result many still carry out informal trade, produce goods that are not on demand, don't know the standards that are required, that is why they continue making losses," noted Serwada. She was officiating at the closure of the training program of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Limited (UWEAL), The Grain Council of Uganda (TGCU) under the theme "Tapping into Regional Markets of Food Staple" at their offices in Bugolobi."Through such trainings Kilimo Trust is leading the way in action required to make the EAC Food Security Action Plan a reality as it is building a mass of skilled business leaders who can effectively tap into the regional markets," said Sserwada. She explained that the EAC Food Security Plan that was endorsed by heads of state, calls for a joint approach on food security, increase in production and trade of staple foods and move them in areas with a deficit in the region, among others. Read more
EABC: Regional traders continue to face hurdles on central corridor
Delays in clearing goods, corruption and theft at the Port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, and high fees charged by some regulatory agencies continue to hurt trade along the Central Corridor, officials have said.Members of the East African Business Council (EABC) brought the matter up during a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) in Dar-es-Salaam.Traders also complained about value added tax (VAT) charged on auxiliary services levied on goods on transit.Omar Kassim, chairperson of Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association (UCIFA), said the issues need to be addressed to ease doing business. Kassim, who is also EABC vice-chairperson for Uganda, said, for instance, clearing of goods in Tanzania takes 10 days on average, while in Rwanda the same task takes a maximum of three-days."Long clearing time in Tanzania is attributed to complicated documentation and compliance activities as businesspersons require 10 documents to import or export to Tanzania," Kassim said. Read more
EAC countries told to create space for investments
East African Countries have been asked to create space for appropriate investment policy frameworks which are necessary in addressing poverty, unemployment, low levels of technology and skills development.Proper investments will also be used as a key driver of structural transformation through creating backward and forward linkages between agriculture production, industrialization and growth in services trade.The call was made by Ambassador Nathan Irumba from SEATIN Uganda, ahead of the regional investment climate meeting that takes place this Thursday and Friday at Lake Victoria hotel in Entebbe. The meeting is organized by SEATINI Uganda in partnership with Diakonia under the theme "Making investment work for the people of East African Community (EAC)".It's aimed at kick starting efforts towards "Promoting Investment policies and Agreements that support sustainable development and improved livelihoods within the region". Read more
EAC Chiefs Commend Aga Khan Investments
East African executives have commended the investments the Aga Khan has brought to the region.The EAC executives, including the Assembly Speaker, Secretary General and the Chief Justice said this during a tour of the construction site of Aga Khan University (AKU) in Arusha, Tanzania on Friday, according to a statement issued by the East African Community Secretariat in Arusha.The leaders said the university is viewed as a catalyst for transformation that will see the city expand as the intellectual, social and political hub for East Africa. The project is part of the planned $500m (Shs1.6 trillion) expansion in East Africa by the Aga Khan. It seeks to enrol health sciences and Arts students from across the region, notably Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Read more
EALA calls for complete elimination of EAC trade barriers
The East African Legislative Assembly has urged Partner States to “up their game” in sensitization activities particularly when it comes to the Common Market Protocol in order to raise awareness and showcase benefits to the citizens of the region.At the same time, the EALA wants Partner States to adopt a phased implementation of the EAC Common Market by prioritizing aspects that carry quick wins or deliver immediate multiplier effects.This move, lawmakers argued, shall endear citizens to take advantage of the benefits that shall accrue from the Common Market protocol. ChimpReports understands the Assembly debated and adopted the Report of an Oversight activity on the Security related challenges of implementing the Common Market Protocol along the Central Corridor.The Report presented to the House by the Chair of the Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee, Hon Abdullah Mwinyi follows the oversight activity undertaken by the Committee in the United Republic of Tanzania. Read more
RGCC: Grain pact signed to promote trade in EAC markets
A pact to promote grain trade in East African regional markets has been signed in the Rwandan capital Kigali.The signatories of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) were between the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)-Rwanda and the Rwanda Grain and Cereals Corporation (RGCC).The tripartite agreement seeks to promote structured grain trade and financing in the region.It also aims at encouraging farmers, traders and processors to benefit from the infrastructure of structured trade by accessing finance to facilitate trade in the region.The agreement enables farmers in Rwanda to access a credit to the tune of $4.5m to finance production and improve productivity.The chairman of Rwanda Grain and Cereals Corporation (RGCC), Eugene Rwibasira said farmers and traders will benefit by utilizing the network of warehouses in the region.Read more
MEAA: Minister urges S. Sudan to pay traders’ debts
The government of South Sudan is yet to clear arrears with Ugandan traders amounting to Shs123b and this continues to anger Ugandan traders. The debt traders see no end in sight. Mr Shem Bageine, the State Minister for East African Affairs, told Daily Monitor in an interview that for South Sudan to be considered for entry into the East African Community (EAC), it should first clear the debts.“It is important that South Sudan restores good governance and settles debts with Ugandan traders if the negotiations for entry are to get back on track,” he said.Ever since the war broke out in South Sudan, Ugandan traders have made several demands to have their money recovered but this has yielded nothing. They have, threatened to go on strike and lobby the government of Uganda to help secure the payments. This is yet to happen. Read more
TMEACC,Mr Amantius Msole: Freight rail link between Uganda, Dar in offing
The construction of a freight rail link between Tanzania and Uganda is expected to begin soon.This follows a  agreement between the two countries to upgrade the existing 400km railway from Tanga to Arusha, and construct a 480km rail track from Arusha to Musoma port.Cargo en-route to Kampala will then cross Lake Victoria by ship. Under the $3.58 billion deal, the two countries will also construct a new Mwambani port in Tanga and expand Musoma dock and the new Kampala inland port at Bukasa.The deputy permanent secretary in the Tanzanian Ministry of East African Community Co-operation, Mr Amantius Msole, said that both the feasibility study and the engineering designs for railway would be completed.However, he did not specify the timeframe for the projects implementation which will be financed jointly by Tanzania and Uganda. Read more
Germany gives Shs157b to support EAC
The Federal Republic of Germany has committed €37m (about Shs157b) in grants to support the East African Community (EAC) integration.The grant will go into the partnership fund as well as into developing regional infrastructures in pharmaceuticals and elimination of non-tariff barriers such as tax harmonisation.Other areas to benefit will be channelled towards the establishment of regional networks of reference laboratories for communicable diseases while the other beneficiaries will be the regional improvement of water resources.Speaking during the negotiations, the EAC deputy secretary general in charge of finance and administration, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, said: “German support which has catalysed other development Partners to support our projects and programmes.” Read more
EAC moves to tame mobile money fraud
 Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan are working to reach a common SIM card registration framework to help tame crime that is perpetrated using mobile phones. Officials from the four nations met in Nairobi, where they discussed harmonisation of their legal frameworks to develop a common SIM card registration system.“SIM card registration has been primarily necessitated by the need to ensure that ICT networks, particularly mobile telecom services, are secured from misuse for criminal activities,” said Kenya’s Communications Authority director general Francis Wangusi. “The new framework will help deal with fraud as the region strives to realise financial inclusion for the citizens,” said Joseph Tiampati, the ICT Principal Secretary. Read more
Here Is How to Get the EAC Integration to the Citizens
Kampala inundated with pomp and colour as road show trucks criss-crossed the city, promoting awareness of the East African Community (EAC). We were puzzled. Puzzled because either are two parallel initiatives at EAC integration awareness, or a duplication of effort and resources. This is because we had just entered the city from the western axis, having completed the first leg of the Uganda Component in the on-going Integration for Development campaign across the five Partner States of the EAC. Spearheaded by the East African BusinessCouncil, the campaign is the exploratory phase of the implementation strategy for the East African Agriculture and Rural Development Programme. The focus of the programme is organic agriculture, based on the smallholder farmer as the unit of production.Read more
EAC benefits us all, lets support it
What, in your opinion, is the relevance of regional integration?Across the world different regional integration blocs have come up on the basis of different issues. But for our case (East Africa) we are looking at creating a competitive ground for all countries, especially small ones as well as allowing comparative advantage to strengthen a particular country’s production capacity. Has Uganda realised any benefits from the integration? Yes! Certainly there have been benefits, especially in the area of trade. For instance, Uganda has seen its trade across the region increase both in terms of volumes and quality. Trade volumes and investments by Ugandans in countries like Rwanda and Kenya have increased partly because of free movement of goods, labour and capital. How does Uganda’s regional exports and imports balance sheet weigh? Read more
East African consumers feel pain of unstable currencies
Consumers in the region are feeling the pain of their weakening currencies, which have led to a rise in the cost of various goods and services across the board.The Tanzanian, Ugandan, Kenyan and Rwandan currencies have depreciated against the dollar, setting off a rise in inflation and, therefore, retail prices. For example, with the exception of Tanzania, fuel prices have been on the rise across countries in the region.The Kenya Energy and Regulatory Commission (ERC) increased fuel prices for the fourth time in a row, citing the sliding shilling.ERC director general Joe Ng’ang’a said save for diesel and kerosene, the average landing cost of super petrol increased by 1.25 per cent, from $718.97 (about Shs2.63m )per tonne to $727.97 (about Shs2.67m) per tonne. Read more
EAC: Regional manufacturers to establish investment fund
 Regional manufacturers are planning to establish a fund that will facilitate joint investment in capital intensive and flagship projects. This was one of the resolutions made during the EAC manufacturers’ business summit, and is aimed at discussing the role of manufacturing in deepening the integration and fostering economic growth in the region.In their Kampala resolution, the industrialists resolved “To effectively utilise the available resources within the region for structural transformation of the manufacturing sector in key value chains, a regional special purpose vehicle (SPVs) should be established.”They said this will be done drawing lessons from the Maputo Development Corridor, or Air-bus Project in EU. “The framework should outline each country’s comparative and competitive strength in resources and inputs, and how EAC countries can collaborate and develop such strategic industries to avoid harmful competition,” the resolution noted. Read more
EACDGCT: EAC push for long-term trade pact with US to replace Agoa
The East African Community is pushing for a long-term preferential trade agreement with the United States that will remove uncertainties surrounding the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).The five member states have submitted their request to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the modalities and the time to start negotiations on the pact.According to EAC Director General of Customs and Trade Peter Kiguta, the USTR is expected to present the request at the next US Congress meeting. If accepted, the region expects to increase the volume of trade and the number of products exported to the US.“For EAC partner states to expand their trade partnership with the US market, there has to be a reciprocal free trade agreement like the one with the European Union,” said Mr Kiguta.“The challenge with Agoa is that it is unilateral; it can be withdrawn any time and the period is very short and limiting for trade. So we need to have a long-term trade partnership that is more predictable,” he added. Read more
EAC online grain auction takes-off
East Africa’s first ever web-based grain market has taken off in earnest with 5,000metric tonnes of wheat sold by twenty registered users.The online grains’ portal-PXAfrica said it had registered 20 users that represent more than 35 per cent of the Kenyan grains market with more grain traders from Kenya and Uganda seeking to join the hub.One negotiation of maize from Uganda has already traded and the spread between the bid and offer for 5000 metric tons of wheat has narrowed dramatically.The portal’s Chief Executive Officer Ms Julie Lerner  expressed optimism describing the uptake as good news for the smallholder farmers who have for ages relied on middlemen to dispose off their farm produce much to their detriment.Read more
EAC: ‘Kenya has no right to block Ugandan sugar’
East African Community (EAC) secretary general Richard Sezibera has said Kenya has no right to stop Ugandan sugar from being sold within its territory as long as both countries are members of the regional bloc. According to Mr Sezibera, the same rule applies to any of the five EAC member states that attempts to restrict trade or movement of goods produced within the region from reaching each other’s market.Speaking during his courtesy visit at the Monitor Publications Limited offices, the EAC secretary general said sugar shouldn’t be an issue in the region because all the five member states still need to produce more sugar than what is available. He said: “All the EAC countries have sugar deficits, the only difference is that Uganda’s deficit is slightly better compared to the other states—but as a region we have an annual deficit of about 200,000 metric tonnes. And for that, there should be no restriction of goods produced within East Africa.” Read more
EAC countries develop 5,000 standards to ease regional trade
 The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat is set to introduce 5,000 new standards to ease the movement of goods and services. Some of the new standards include seeds standards on maize, soya beans, sunflower, sorghum and groundnuts. Such standards will help address challenges of fake seeds in the market when implemented by producers and government.Other standards will be on sugar and sugar products such as chewing gum, liquid glucose used in industry, molasses, sugarcane and sweets.These will help facilitate trade in the region.Experts say the new standards could be an answer to the puzzled private sector whose products have been traded  but have no national standards. EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Ssezibera, said: “ EAC has 1,500 standards and we are bringing on board 5,000 more. We urge member states to domesticate them at the national level.” Read more
EAC gets Chinese skills to grow manufacturing sector
 The East African Secretariat is planning to ignite the region’s manufacturing sector to increase its contribution towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The EAC GDP stands at $110.3 billion (Shs330.9 trillion) as of the records. Of this, the manufacturing sector contributes less than 10 per cent.Speaking at the third secretary general’s breakfast meeting in Kampala, Dr Richard Sezibera, the EAC Secretary General, said: “We are looking at boosting the manufacturing sector and once this takes off, it will increase jobs for the growing youth population in the region.” Read more
EAC states tighten anti-money laundering laws
The East African Community member states are drafting tougher regulations on money laundering targeting firms registered in tax havens and jurisdictions with bank secrecy.Companies with shareholders represented by nominee accounts will have to disclose the beneficial owners when they open accounts in banks or stock market intermediaries such as brokers and investment banks, under the draft policy.The Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Banks chief executive, Mr Willie Njoroge, said stock market intermediaries saw the proposals as important, but added there was risk of delayed securities transactions.Read more
EAC: Two blocs team up for industrial development
The East African Community (EAC ) secretariat is collaborating with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) to address challenges affecting industrial policies in the region.The two bodies launched a programme on strengthening institutional capacities for industrial policy management, monitoring and evaluation to enhance competitiveness among the bloc’s member states.This is aimed at strengthening industrial capacities in EAC partner states by addressing challenges that have constrained effective industrial policy development, policy performance, monitoring and logic of policy hierarchies, at both national and regional level.The programme is expected to enhance industrial competitiveness of the region through evidence–based design and effective implementation of industrial policies and programmes as well as an increased transparency of information on industrial market opportunities for the private sector.Read more
East Africa: Agreement on tax harmonisation vital
Anatoly Nahayo, a law expert, was speaking after launching his book titled 'East African Community Tax Harmonisation'.He was at the East African Community headquarters in Arusha advising his listeners on the wisdom for working in tandem when it comes to regional tax issues.Partner states have been talking quietly and carefully over the issue, but it is extremely sensitive. In most cases each country is doing its own thing, especially tax incentives. Nahana said there are limited avenues to query the decision of finance ministers to exempt individual business people or companies For some time now, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been politely and firmly advising regional governments to dispense with tax incentives. Read more
SMEAC: Kenya has banned all sugar imports coming from neighbouring countries.
State Minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs Shem Bagiene has said the Kenyan government is mixing its trade arrangements with the Common Market for East and South Africa (Comesa) with EAC matters.Talking to Daily Monitor, Mr Bageine said the excuse the Kenyan government is advancing for blocking sugar from neighbouring states from accessing its market should not be mixed with its trading arrangements with Comesa member states because the parameters of engagement between the two trading blocs are totally different.Kenya was granted an extension by the Comesa trade and customs committee to limit sugar imports from the trade bloc, according to an article that ran in Business Daily.This followed the expiry of the  Comesa safeguard—a deal which had cushioned the Kenyan Sugar industry from cheap sugar imports from the Comesa region. Read more
EAC, US sign trade deal
The East African Community (EAC) has signed a new cooperation agreement with the United States to boost trade-related capacity in the region, as well as deepen their economic ties.The cooperation is expected to build on the EAC’s work on customs reforms which have already resulted in substantial reductions in the time and costs of moving goods across borders within the partner states.The partnership is expected to address trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and technical barriers to trade.While signing the agreement in Washington last week, US trade representative Michael Froman said: “This agreement is an important milestone for strengthening what has already proven itself to be a promising and impactful partnership. This agreement will help us lift the burdens that trade barriers impose, unlocking opportunities for both our continents.” Read more
EAC to consider S Sudan, Somalia request to join bloc
South Sudan and Somalia’s plea to join the East African Community is one of the major topics the regional heads of States will be discussing in Nairobi.This will be at the 16th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State to be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Kenya.The EAC secretary general, Dr Richard Sezibera, said: “Negotiations for the admission of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC, verification of the application of the Federal Republic of Somalia will be priority matters on agenda”.The government of South Sudan pleaded with the EAC member states not to reject them because of the violence that had engulfed the country. Read more
EACSG: Regional private sector told to address corruption
East African Community secretary general Richard Sezibera has advised the private sector to address the issue of corruption which is a big challenge in the community.While meeting members of the private sector through their umbrella organisation East African Business Council in Nairobi, Mr Sezibera said: “The private sector needs to develop a code of conduct that they themselves will monitor.”In this regard, he urged the private sector in the region to consider the draft code of conduct that has been prepared by the EABC. The Corruption Perception Index rankings for EAC countries, shows Rwanda was a top performer with a score of 49 at position 55 globally. Tanzania was second with a score of 31 at position 119, Uganda followed at 142 with a score of 26 then Kenya. Burundi was at the bottom of the pack with a score of 20 at number 159. All the EAC countries dropped in score except Uganda whose score remained unchanged. Read more
MEACA: EAC leaders to debate financing mechanisms
Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC) partner states are expected to meet in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, for a summit that will, among others, discuss sustainable financing mechanisms for bloc’s activities.In a statement, released, the Minister for EAC Affairs, Mr Valentine Rugwabiza, said the new financing mechanisms are expected to be presented as per a directive by the Summit that tasked the Council of Ministers to present a report on alternative financing mechanisms, including the option of one per cent of imports from outside EAC. This is one of the ways the bloc is looking at to reduce overreliance on donor aid, where going by the Budget passed by the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala), out of the total budget of $124 million, member states contributed $41.9 million, while $73.2 million came from donors.Other areas to be discussed include the creation of the One-Area Network that will ease telecommunication by residents in the five partner states. Read more
EAC: Regional Bill to fight counterfeits in offing
A new Bill aimed at eliminating counterfeit and trade piracy in the East African Community (EAC) is in the offing.The EAC Competition (Amendment) Bill, one of the six commercial bills that sailed through the first reading at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), The Council of Ministers before being assented to by the heads of state.Rwanda’s James Ndahiro said: “This Bill anticipates to create a conducive investment climate in the Community, checking unfair competition practices embodied in counterfeiting and policies thus promoting the creation of intellectual property rights in the region.”Once passed, the Bill is also expected to promote industrialisation and economic growth among the member states. Private Sector Foundation Uganda’s executive director Gideon Badagawa, however, warned that the regional Bill may not serve its purpose if the member states don’t play their roles in tackling the vices by passing the enabling national laws first.Read more
EAC: Parliament okays motion on regional single currency
Parliament, passed a motion approving the establishment of the East African Monetary Union, which will see Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi adopting a single common currency.Uganda’s Minister of State for Finance, Matia Kasaija, said the monetary union is intended to promote and maintain monetary and financial stability aimed at facilitating economic integration to attain sustainable growth and development of the East African Community.“The East African Community summit shall pronounce the formation and commencement of the single currency area and will determine the name of the currency, which shall be the legal tender of the area,” Kasaija said.According to provisions of the protocol for the establishment of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU), partner states agreed to harmonise and coordinate their fiscal policies, formulate and implement a single monetary policy and a single exchange rate policy, and to develop and integrate financial payment and settlement systems. Read more
EAC to get $1B loan to improve ports
The World Bank will loan East African nations $1.2 billion to improve inland waterways and ports in Kenya and Tanzania, as part of efforts to boost integration in the region.The bank said the funds will be used to revive inland waterways on Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria and improve handling capacity and efficiency in the Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports. The five-nation East African Community, which also comprises Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and has a combined $110b economy, is working to package cross-border infrastructure plans to make them more attractive to potential financiers. Oil and gas discoveries in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have turned the region into an exploration hotspot. “The World Bank Group’s investments and support to reforms anticipate the boom of extractives in the region and will facilitate easier movement of people, goods and capital,” the bank said in a statement issued at an EAC meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. It said the funding was to help the bloc’s investment plans. Read more
EAC states advised to invest more in education
Experts attending the ongoing Academia-Public-Private Sector Forum in Kigali have called for mass private sector investments in education so as to boost innovation on the job market.They say for the East African Community (EAC) to achieve its ambitious goals there is need for the private sector to work closely with universities to invest in research and innovation so that higher institutions of learning could produce skilled graduates.Speaking at the opening of two day forum organised by Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA), EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera stressed the need for shared technology skills across the region as partner states strive to open up borders to a single monetary and customs union.“We will not achieve much if we don’t allow free flow of these skills across the region,” he said, urging institutions of higher learning to embrace research and innovation which, he said, is a driving force in the developed world. Read more
EAC:Intra-trade growth prospects good - EAC secretary general
The East African Community (EAC) secretary general, Dr Richard Sezibera, has given a positive endorsement of intra-trade growth prospects within the African continent.Speaking at the Africa Global Business forum in Dubai, Dr Sezibera said East African countries traded more with each other in the last three years, growing their trade volumes by about 22 per cent. Intra-African trade is still comparatively low and ranks among the smallest levels of intra-regional trade globally. For instance, 70 per cent of the European Union’s trade takes place within the region.Data from the EAC Secretariat shows that intra-EAC trade grew to $5.5 billion, up from $4.5 billion recorded, even as the five member states of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, struggled with the elimination of non-trade barriers. Read more
EAC: Advertising trends in E. Africa point to steady growth
When it comes to the East African markets, years of advertising trends indicate a slow but steady growth. An exception is Kenya which has been growing at a much faster pace. This growth is indicative of the confidence advertisers have in the Kenyan market.Kenya seems to have an upper hand in the advertising industry in comparison to the rest of the East African region. A few assumptions can be made to explain this disparity. One could be the country’s positioning as a central hub for multinationals investing in East Africa.Kenya is strategically ‘placed’ i.e. the presence of a seaport, advanced infrastructure, the booming tourism sector and liberalised trade policies; hence, becoming a gateway to other landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Read more
IMF and EAC team up to develop finance data
The East African Community (EAC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have come together to help regional states in compiling finance statistics for their different governments.Once done, the initiative will assist the EAC partner states meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East Africa Monetary Union (EAMU) Protocol.Speaking about the initiative, the EAC deputy secretary in charge of planning and infrastructure, Dr Enos Bukuku, said: “The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of the regional monetary Union and transition to EAC single currency ”. Mr Bukuku noted that GFS will be compiled in accordance with internationally agreed methodological standards, would not only provide the region with an important framework for comparing, analysing and evaluating fiscal policy, but also an opportunity to improve government and public sector performance.Read more
EAC boss decries non-tariff barriers within Community
The EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera said that despite the coming into force of the common markets protocol, challenges still persist in trade facilitation and movement of people, goods, capital and labour across the EAC partner states.According to Sezibera, this is not made better by the poor state of infrastructure, the slow pace of harmonization of work permits, who called for more efforts from regional governments, private sector, and civil society. Sezibera was speaking at the third annual Secretary General’s consultative forum at Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe. The forum aims to provide a platform for dialogue between the private sector, civil society and other interest groups with the EAC Secretary General on how to improve the regional integration process.Read more

EAC: High transportation costs push regional traders to Dar es Salaam port
The high cost of moving cargo through Kenya is pushing most East African traders to Dar es Salaam despite reforms that have significantly raised efficiency at the port of Mombasa.Traders based in Kigali, Bujumbura and Goma pay less to move goods from the port of Dar through Tanzania’s Central Corridor than from Mombasa Port through Kenya’s Northern Corridor, a new survey shows.It costs Shs12 million ($4,800) to transport a standard 40 foot container cargo through the Northern Corridor to Kigali, Shs16.9 million ($6,500) to Bujumbura and Shs18 million ($7,000) to Goma from Mombasa Port .The same container transported through Dar would cost Shs11 million ($4,300) to Kigali, Shs11.7 million ($4,500) to Bujumbura and Shs12 million ($4,700) to Goma, a survey conducted by the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa indicates. Read more
EAC advised on economic deals with EU
The East African Community (EAC) has been asked to focus on development priorities while negotiating the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU).Ms Jane Nalunga, the country director Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute (SEATINI) Uganda, made the call at a media briefing in Kampala.She said for any EPA to be concluded by the EAC, it should be coherent with its development priorities, support its structural transformation and sustainable development. Some of the EAC’s development priorities include; helping member countries to increase their production capacities, encouraging diversification, increasing food security, providing quality employment and moving the region from being largely raw natural resource exporters to being producers of more sophisticated products.“EAC should not compromise the development of other sectors that will be affected once the current EPA is concluded for the sake of protecting the flowers industry from attracting tariffs in the EU market,” she advised. Read more
EAC: Uganda Lags Behind in Currency
Uganda is lagging behind in ratifying the East African Monetary Union Protocol.Edward Ssebina, the Assistant Commissioner Production and Social Services in the East African Affairs ministry said, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda had said they were in the process of ratifying it, but no specific dates have been given.Briefing the media in Kampala, Ssebina said the country had initiated the process to ratify the protocol, but since the regime needs a constitutional amendment, it would have to be considered by several state institutions."This particular ratification calls for a constitutional amendment as it will require the Central Bank to cede its powers to the proposed East African Central Bank," he said.He said areas that needed fast tracking included the harmonisation of laws so that for example Uganda laws can conform to those of the other EAC countries.He said "Uganda has identified seven laws and these include those relating to investment, immigration, external trade, surveyors among other that need to conform with the Common Market Protocol. Read more
Business community to benefit from cross regional initiative
The business community in Uganda will be among the beneficiaries of a tripartite Act in the offing that will facilitate free movement in the East and Southern African region.A group of experts from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have begun working towards facilitating this provision.While addressing delegates at the annual International Freight Forwards Association (FIATA) conference in Zimbabwe recently, Ms Helen Kenani, a Comesa trade expert, said: “The movement of business persons has remained a major hindrance to free flow of inter/ intra regional trade.”Free movement of business people is also a key provision in the negotiations for a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). The conference was hosted by the Shipping and Forwarding Agents of Zimbabwe, and the Regional African and the Middle East (RAME), who invited Comesa to brief the delegates on the Regional Economic Communities’ (RECs) initiatives to address Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and the Tripartite Free Trade Area negotiations. Read more
EAC resumes negotiations to allow S. Sudan into bloc
The Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Dr Richard Sezibera, is in South Sudan to oversee negotiations to allow the new state to join the bloc.The meeting, which started on Tuesday in Juba, is meant to help the EAC secretariat gain a better understanding of South Sudan’s preparations as well as provide government officials with valuable guidance on the way forward as regards the negotiations.In a communication issued to the Daily Monitor, Dr Sezibera, said: “The purpose of the mission is to share with government officials what needs to be done as the country (South Sudan) prepares to start the negotiation to join the EAC.”Earlier this year, South Sudan had negotiations halted because of the instabilities that broke out in this country. South Sudan joining the EAC is destined to widen the regional market by 11 million to the current 140 from the current five member states. Read more
EA countries, S. Sudan root for single call rate system
Subscribers to telecom networks within Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan are set to enjoy cross-border calls at the same rates under the “One-Network-Area.”The four countries have announced plans to adopt a regional telecommunications framework with effect from January 1, 2015.The communications regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in a statement issued  and signed by ICT Minister John Nasasira, said operationalising the framework is part of the resolutions made by the heads of state at the 5th Summit for the Northern Corridor Integration Projects in May.“The regional framework applies to telephone calls originating and terminating within the region,” the statement reads in part. The statement was also signed by the Rwandan ICT minister, Mr Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Permanent Secretary-ICT ministry of South Sudan, Mr Stephen Lugga, and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the ICT ministry, Dr Fred Matiang’i. Read more
EAC: Ugandan importers fail to clear in time at Mombasa
The lack of knowledge about import procedures by traders and importers is increasing the cost of doing business on the part of Ugandan businessmen at the Kenyan port of Mombasa and within the East African Community (EAC) at large.This observation was made by the representative of Ugandan business community in Mombasa, William Lusabya Kidima recently on the sidelines of the launch of the Mombasa community charter in Mombasa.As a result, Ugandan businessmen fail to clear their goods in time, attracting penalties which further reduces the scale of would-be profits from any given consignment or container.Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta attended the launch, during which he called on implementing agencies to ensure that the charter is put to use.Kenyatta also called for closer monitoring of projects under the charter electronically for proper accountability.“This is the only way we shall hold responsible implementing agencies accountable when objectives of the charter are not met to prevent cases where nice documents are shelved, claiming there is no money for implementing and yet East African Economies depend on the efficiency of this port through the charter for improved cost of doing business,” he said. Read more
'Civil Society Weak on EAC Integration'
Building institutional capacity for Private Sector and Civil Society will improve business competitiveness in the EAC region, TradeMark East Africa officials said this week. The organisation’s Country Director, Allen Asiimwe said Private Sector Organisations have a key role to play in contributing to policy dialogue, providing information and monitoring policymaking and programming for regional integration. Asiimwe further said the private sector aims to influence Government and the EAC through apex bodies. Civil society participation and engagement in EAC integration processes has been very limited and there is inadequate appreciation of the key issues and of the impact of EAC integration amongst civil society organizations (CSOs) in Uganda. There are concerns that EAC integration, if not managed properly, will lead to further marginalization and disempowerment of vulnerable groups. Read more
Regional integrated tax systems needed to curb illicit financial flows
African states have the capacity to fully finance their budgets, if they can tame the illicit financial flows which cripple the continent’s economic development, experts have advised.Africa’s leading economists and trade analysts noted that the rampant ‘illicit financial flows’ was paying a heavy toll in draining and crippling of the African economies.“Illicit financial flow” is the secret and illegal movement or transfer of money from one jurisdiction to another. The term also refers to money that leaves the continent instead of being used to finance development.Such monies may be proceeds from corruption, smuggling, organized crime, tax evasion, money laundering, and international trade manipulations.“Every single dollar that leaves the continent is a dollar lost to investment opportunities in education, agriculture and health,” said John Ochola a Tax and Extractive Sector in Africa expert.Ochola said East African countries have the capacity to finance their own budgets and stop relying on donor aid. “Years back we never used to import second hand clothes because we had functional and vibrant textile industries coupled with a vibrant cotton growing communities,” he said.According to statistics, African economies have in just three decades lost between $597 billion and $1.4 trillion in illicit financial flows. Read more
EA Single Tourist Visa Promoted at S.A. Travel Show
Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are making giant strides in promoting the single East Africa single joint visa in a bid to boost tourism revenues, Chimp Corps report.The tourist cross-border visa between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda costs USD $100. It was launched on January 1.This website understands that Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda Ministers, High Commissioners, Heads of Tourism Boards, Tour operators and other private sector tourism stakeholders officially graced the launch of the new cross-border visa during Indaba Fair, the Top Africa’s Travel Show that is held annually in Durban-South Africa.The single tourist visa resulted from a joint initiative and decision made by the Heads of State of the respective countries.Before the establishment of the single entry visa for Kenya was USD $50 (approximately £30), for Uganda was USD $50 (approximately £30) and Rwanda was USD $30 (approximately £18).Kenya’s Minister for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Mrs Phyllis Kandie applauded the joint tourist move: Read more
EAC, IFAD Meet To Boost Agricultural Production in Dry Lands

The East African Community Secretariat has called for support from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in improving and developing the dry lands of the region and re- orientation of investment in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors to support market driven systems. This was during a roundtable discussion with IFAD officials on the topic: “Regional Trade in East Africa” held in Arusha on Monday. The one-day roundtable discussion was aimed at exploring how IFAD can engage with EAC and its Partners to, among others, support food trade within the East African Common Market under the EAC Food Security Action Plan; develop agriculture value chain and cross border trade, as well as accelerate expansion of processing and value addition especially of perishable products in the region. The roundtable discussion saw Senior Officers from the EAC Secretariat make exhaustive presentations in areas of Trade and Customs, and EAC Food Security Action Plan. Read more
EABC decries non-tariff barriers
The continued imposing of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) by the East African Community (EAC) member states is limiting the growth of the private sector and slowing down integration, experts have said.The East African Business Council (EABC) on Friday urged EAC member states to accept to open up and work as one entity if the region is to develop and overcome challenges of unemployment. The EABC chairman, Vimal Shah, said the spirit of individualism among member states not only hampers foreign direct investments, but also disables the growth of businesses in the region.“We have a population of 130 million people in east Africa with a GDP of $90b. We need to create more jobs to increase our GDP to more than $100b,” Shah said.“Nothing is stopping us from reaching there apart from ourselves and our mistrust. The private sector is becoming impatient in terms of implementing EAC agreements.” Read more
Cement, tobacco first to be cleared under EAC tax deal
Cement and cigarettes will be the first goods to be cleared under a new trade deal allowing for joint collection of customs taxes by Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.Under the deal, expected to take effect on April 1, clearing agents have been granted access rights to relocate and carry out their duties in any of the partner states under the single customs territory (SCT) system, raising hope for improved flow of goods and curbing dumping.In an interview yesterday with the Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner for Customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the extension of single custom territory (SCT) to other products followed successful clearance of fuel imports into Uganda from Kenya (Mombasa port).He said: “The items being brought onboard are neutral spirit, cigarettes and cement traded between Kenya and Uganda.” Read more
EAC: New sanitary measures to spur East African fisheries business
New measures that will boost fish trade volumes in East Africa have been formulated.
The East African Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures for fish products were developed by experts from regional partner states. SPS are World Trade Organisation standards that ensure consumers are supplied with safe foods. Fish and fisheries products are part of this.Responding to the new measures, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of the productive and social sector Jesca Eriyo said: “this is in line with Treaty for Establishment of the EAC Article 38 and in tandem with the EAC Common Market Protocol 45(3), on cooperation in Agriculture and Food Security.”“This calls for an effective mechanism of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, standards and technical regulations within the EAC,”she added. Read more
Uganda to host EAC business meeting
An East African Community business forum that brings together private sector actors and civil society groups in the region will be held in September in Kampala, Mary Makoffu, EAC Director for Social Sectors has said."The objective of the Forum is to allow selected stakeholders and the EAC to consult and work towards realizing the Community’s objectives,” she said.Under the theme “EAC: My Home, My Business,” the various groups interested in paving the business routes within the region would interface with the East African Secretariat in order to unmask the opportunities available within EAC member states and come up with mechanisms on how to explore these opportunities. Read more
EAC Tourism Ministers Assure West Of Safety
The East African Community Ministers responsible for Tourism have assured the global tourism industry that the region is safe and secured. In a statement at the ITB Trade Fair in Berlin, Germany, the Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Agnes Akiror Egunyu, said that despite several challenges, the region has agreed to tackle negative travel advisories targeting the region collectively. She emphasized that Ministers responsible for Tourism in the Partner States have taken a new dimension of adopting a proactive approach to pre-empt the issuing of such negative travel advisories as well as addressing any negative travel advisory jointly as a Community. Hon. Egunyu urged the Commonwealth member countries to consult the EAC Secretariat before publishing any travel warnings. In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Jesca Eriyo, informed the invited guests during the EAC Day held on 7th March that the EAC benefits significantly from the Travel and Tourism industry as a result of the region’s endowed resources. Read more
Conflicting local laws hampering execution of EAC protocol - official
The different legal regimes in East African Community member states are a new restriction to the implementation of the East African Community treaty and protocol.According to Ms Allen Asiimwe, the Uganda country director Trade Mark East Africa, despite the elimination of non-tariff barriers previously thought to be the problem, conflict among the laws governing professional associations and services in member states is a new obstacle to the implementation of the treaty and protocol.Restrictive laws While addressing officials at a breakfast meeting about the integration process in Kampala yesterday, Ms Asiimwe observed that despite recent developments such as the introduction of EAC single tourist visa last month and the single customs territory last year, the integration process in East Africa is still finding challenges because of the laws governing professional associations and services. She said such laws are proving restrictive and protective rather than facilitating the smooth coordination of the integration process. Read more
Banking borders in EAC to disappear
Following the single tourist visa, a major deal between banking switch services in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania is in the offing to unlock more value in the East African banking, finance and trade sectors.Banking switch services allow a customer of one bank to access their account at ATM’s of another bank without opening an additional account.Uganda currently has 5.3 million commercial bank accounts spread out in 27 licensed commercial banks. There are 13 banks on the Ugandan switch run by Interswitch East Africa.“We are soon signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya’s Kenswitch, Rwanda’s Rswitch, and Tanzania’s Umoja. Our goal is to expand to the entire African continent,” Olumuyiwa Asagba, the Interswitch boss said at the Serena Kampala Hotel last week.“We want to be a catalyst for the East African intergration and the move towards having a cashless economy,” he added.The addition of Centenary Bank to the Ugandan switch last week, has doubled the number of interconnected ATMs in the country to 280 from 146. Read more
EAC launches common market scorecard
Entitled, “East African Common Market Scorecard 2014: Tracking EAC compliance in the movement of capital, services and goods,” the report was prepared with the support of the World Bank Group. The scorecard examines selected commitments made by the partner states, outlines progress in removing legislative and regulatory restrictions to the protocol, and recommends reform measures.Addressing delegates at the launch of the report in Arusha on Tuesday, EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera said that all partner states were expected to remove internal tariffs, implement a common external tariff, and remove non-tariff barriers to trade, among other commitments. “If implemented, these measures will have a profound and positive impact on the economies of the partner states.”East African countries, Dr Sezibera said, had committed themselves not to introduce new restrictions, and to eliminate existing ones. Read more
EAC: Regional customs launch shifted
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have postponed the single customs territory (SCT) roll-out, giving Burundi and Tanzania more time to prepare for the shift. East Africa Community (EAC) secretariat custom officer Ally Alexander told the committee on Communication, Trade and Investment in Mombasa that the implementation of the model would begin in June. “We are looking at reducing the costs and number of days to clear the cargo from Mombasa to Kampala to take three days instead of the previous 18 days,” Mr Alexander said.The SCT was initially planned to begin in January with the three countries moving their revenue staff to common entry and exit points to begin goods clearance. But Tanzania and Burundi protested their exclusion in the arrangement after Kenya announced in January that it was ready to start accommodating revenue officials from the two landlocked states in Mombasa, prompting the three States to go slow on their plans. Read more
EAFF: Regional body seeks to replicate Uganda coffee farmers’
Executive members of the East African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF) have expressed interest in replicating the Uganda originated Farmer Ownership Model (FOM) that has supported increased roles of smallholder coffee farmers along the crop value chain systems.Applied with in the membership of the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), the FOM serves as an architecture directed at changing the role of the middlemen in the coffee value chain and increasing the monetary value that farmers retain, thus salvaging them from the plight of losses.Against that background, the Nairobi- based EAFFA is considering replicating and promoting the Model among other East African Community countries so that farmers elsewhere can also tap into the economic benefits enjoyed by a cross-section of Uganda coffee farmers.EAFF program officer Policy and Advocacy Mainza Mugoya noted that since the Model emphasises reduced roles of middlemen along the value chain, efforts should also be geared towards promoting it in the production systems of many other crops across the region. Read more
East African cooperatives to benefit from new regulation
Cooperative societies across East Africa will now collaborate on numerous fronts, including joint marketing, thanks to a regional Bill in offing. According to Uganda Cooperative Alliance secretariat and the Eastern African farmers’ Federation, the drive to have both regional (EALA) legislation allow the collaboration and national cooperative laws amended, is in high gear.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Mr Mike Sebalu, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member and the brain behind the EAC Co-operative Societies Bill 2014 said by mid-year, the Bill will have been passed and assented to by all the regional heads of state. Read more. 

EAC farmers demand for a law on Cooperatives
Members of the Eastern Africa farmers Federation (EAFF) have appealed to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to speed up the enactment of East African Communities Co-operative Societies Bill 2014.The Bill, being advanced by the Eastern Africa Farmers' Federation (EAFF), aims to facilitate the engagement of the co-operative movement in the EAC integration process.It will also help farmers in the region understand protocols so that they can be able to make decisions and have direct contact with the people who buy their goods.“Most of the trade in the region is not done by farmers. The farmers who trade in the region account for only 1%.The rest still don’t understand common market protocols,” said Stephen Muchiri, the chief executive officer of EAFF.Muchiri said that the law will not only regulate cooperatives but will also help farmers across the region understand common market protocols which will then ease cross border trade. Read more
EAC: Business Council rallies region on policy reforms
As the East African Community enters its 14th year of integration, there are still penny-pinching issues that have pushed up the cost of doing business.The EAC’s bid to create a single East African market entails easing travel restrictions, harmonising tariffs and cutting telecommunication costs.This means the private sector has to be brought at the fore-front since it is regarded as the engine of growth, thanks to its contribution to the economic development of respective member states.The East African Business Council has positioned itself as the policy advocacy body in the region to ensure that policies are implemented. Read more

EAC: Private sector too slow at exploiting regional opportunities
The private sector are shying away from the business opportunities in the East African Community (EAC).The commissioner for economic affairs in the Ministry for East African Community, Rashid Kibowa, said: “There is lack of enthusiasm by the private sector on EAC opportunities. There are trade negotiations that the private sector should get involved in.”Kibowa was speaking at a consultative meeting on the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA)-Southern African Development Community (SADC)-EAC tripartite cooperation at Hotel Africana in Kampala recently. The meeting was organised by the Ministry of East African Community Affairs and attended by the private sector and civil society leaders.The private sector, however, said they lack resources and capacity to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the region. Read more

EAC issues SQMT regulations to facilitate regional trade
The East African Community has issued regulations to enhance the operationalization of the EAC Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act (SQMT) of 2006.The SQMT regulations are geared towards facilitating regional trade. The Regulations were approved by the Council of Ministers in November 2013 and are issued in line with Article 6 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Common Market, with reference to Free Movement of Goods.The regulations will facilitate the issuance of quality marks on products conforming to regional and international standards and provide consumer confidence of the products traded in the region.The regulations also provide for emphasis on recognition of each Quality Marks issued by other Partner States Quality Marks in conformity assessment of goods moving across borders. Read more
Products conforming to standards will be issued with quality marks.
 Goods bearing a quality standards mark from any of the five East African partner states will now be allowed to be traded freely.This follows the East African Community issuance of a set of regulations to enhance the operationalisation of the regional standardisation.The regulations also known as the Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act (SQMT) of 2006, were earlier approved by the Council of Ministers in November, 2013 and are geared towards easing trade.According to a communication issued to the Daily Monitor, the regulations were issued in line with Article 6 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Common Market, with reference to Free Movement of Goods.“The regulations will facilitate the issuance of quality marks on products conforming to regional and international standards and provide consumer confidence of the products traded in the region,” the communication noted. Read more

More than 100,000 farmers to benefit in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania Heifer International received a $25.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project and assist more than 136,000 farm families in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Heifer International will work with and invite new investors from the public and private sectors to raise an additional $16 million over five years to fully fund phase two of the regional project, which is designed to eradicate poverty in these developing countries. The project enables smallholder farmers to profitably participate in the growing dairy industry, improving nutrition and increasing farmer income and access to markets. In 2008, the EADD program was implemented in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with an initial grant from the Gates Foundation of $51.3 million. This new grant will expand the EADD program to Tanzania while scaling up the impact of work in Kenya and Uganda. Read more

A three-day workshop on Fiscal Management of oil and Natural Gas in East African organized by the East African Community together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) opened today at Mount Meru Hotel, in Arusha,Tanzania.The 15-17 January workshop is designed to discuss key issues that EAC governments face in managing the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development and emphasize how the issues and policy choices are interlinked.These relate to design of the fiscal regime (tax and non-tax instrument) and revenue collection; options for the macro-fiscal policy framework and fiscal anchor as well as institutional reforms to integrate natural resources revenues into the budget and credible medium-term frameworks.Delivering the keynote address, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in the Republic of Kenya Hon. Davis Chirchir said that the timing and importance of the workshop to the East African Partner States cannot be over-emphasized due to the fact that the East African region is rapidly emerging as the preferred investment destination by international oil companies who own the risk capital for conducting upstream oil and natural gas operations. Read more

East African Community states set to reduce calling rates
Making phone calls within the region is likely to become cheaper after the governments of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan said they would scrap roaming charges and cap the fees mobile operators charge one another for terminating calls.Kenya ICT Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i said that the four governments would set up a technical committee to review taxes charged on calls and have a common position by February.ICT ministers John Nasasira of Uganda and Jean Nsengimana of Rwanda attended the meeting with a view to harmonising policies in East Africa and reduce the cost of doing business.Read more

EAC: Oil triggers regional mineral growth
Discovery of oil in Uganda and Kenya has triggered mineral development in the region with natural gas in Tanzania and Rwanda, and other minerals like Nickel in Rwanda.Currently, Tanzania’s gold exports comprise about 50 per cent of its total exports. Experts say the region, that has been dependant on agriculture as its major economic activity in the last 50 years, has now shifted attention to the mining sector following oil and gas discoveries. Because of the discoveries, the World Bank says the East African Community (EAC) states are projected to grow in 2013 – Kenya by 5.7 per cent, Uganda by 6.2 per cent and Tanzania by 7 per cent. Read more

East Africa Community set to adopt UN accounting system
The East African Community has agreed with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) on how the two blocs can quickly transit from the current 1993 System of National Accounting (SNA) to the UN recommended version SNA 2008 next year.The SNA are complete and consistent accounting standards of the economic activities of a nation. The SNA 2008 is a preferred system due to its exhaustive coverage of economic activities and data necessary for policy purposes, enlarged description of economic services other than financial intermediation common with the 1993 system. Read more

East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania Launch Cross-Border Integrated Payments System
The East African Community (EAC) is closer to launching an integrated cross-border payments system, which will remove obstacles to cross-border business transactions and boost regional trade, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced Wednesday (December 11th).The East African Payments System (EAPS) is a step towards the formation of a regional monetary union. Read more

BOU: Regional traders to benefit from quick money transfer
Kampala- Ugandan traders will be able to transfer money across borders in the East African region within a day thanks to a new initiative that has inter-linked the region’s central banks.The initiative which is part of the projects by the East African Community member states to grow their capital markets has taken effect in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania while Rwanda and Burundi are expected to join later.The East African Cross Border Payment System (EAPS) will use the Real Time Gross Settlement system (RTGS). Read more

Single monetary union agreement to be signed this week
A monetary union agreement will be signed by Presidents of East African Community countries at the end of this week, paving way for the creation of a single currency.President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the creation of the East African Community Monetary Union is expected to strengthen regional competition, address costs of financial transactions in the region and reduce risks.“The people of East Africa are interacting at such as rising rate and exchanging information, goods and services in such growing volumes, that our borders have become mere formalities,” said President Kenyatta. Read more

EAC: Regional standard bureaus join to harmonize grain standards

East African Community (EAC) countries have agreed to harmonise grain standards to easily promote cross border trade in the region.Speaking at a meeting organised by the East African Grain Council (EAGC) , the deputy executive director Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Ms Patricia Ejalu said leaders of standard bureaus in the region would meet to come up with general standards on grains. Read more 


EACC: There is huge potential for investment in East Africa
It gives me pleasure that the East Africa Chamber of Commerce has successfully hosted the 2013 Annual Trade Conference. It requires resources, energy and determination to gather such a large number of potential investors together from all corners of America. This event once more gives us from the East African Community (EAC), a chance to showcase the opportunities for trade and investment in our region of East Africa and Africa at large. The opportunities for investment in the EAC partner states are enormous. East Africa is a blessed land with resources
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EAC: Uganda to exploit opportunities in EAC to become a middle income country
More than a decade since the revival of the East African Community, the people of Uganda have had tangible developments arising out of the integration process.Therefore, the East Africa Community is a logical step forward to transform Uganda and all the other partner states into modern and prosperous countries in the long run.Read more

EAC region becomes single tourist destination

Ministers responsible for Tourism from the EAC partner states and the EAC Secretariat have hosted an EAC joint event to promote the region as a single tourist destination at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2013 in London. Addressing guests at the event, Uganda’s minister for tourism, wildlife and antiquities Maria Mutagamba who is also the chairperson of the EAC sectoral council on tourism and wildlife management, emphasized that the East African region was a secure and safe destination of wonders and opportunities. Read more

Leaders set deadline on Kenya-Uganda pipeline
Regional leaders agreed to fast-track the construction of an oil pipeline between Kenya and Uganda.At the conclusion of a meeting Kigali under the auspices of the Third Integration Project Summit, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan set the November 30 deadline for contribution of monies meant for a study on the practicability of the project.Read more

EAC cooperation vital for success of oil sector
A recent report by African Alliance, a research and securities firm, said the outlook for the region’s oil and gas sector is bright, but the ability to deliver on large scale projects will be key to realising this potential. Read more

East Africa: Launch of single customs territory is a landmark
At the Integration Projects Summit in Kigali, the Presidents of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan launched the single customs territory. The single customs territory is a milestone in the economic development of the region, especially for countries that share the Northern Corridor trade route.The development reaffirms the concerted efforts toward moving the East African community into a robust economic bloc. Read more