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EAC Secretary General Holds Talks with UNIDO Representative

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 19th October, 2017:

EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko today held talks with Dr. Stephen Bainous Kargbo, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Representative to Tanzania, Mauritius and EAC.

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EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko (right) presents a gift to Dr. Stephen Bainous Kargbo, UNIDO Representative to Tanzania, Mauritius and EAC at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha. The two had earlier discussed issues of competitiveness, innovation and value addition within the industrial sector in East Africa.

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EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko (second right) in a group photo with the NIDO Representative to Tanzania, Mauritius and EAC, Dr. Stephen Kargbo, and other officials of UNIDO and EAC in Arusha.

 

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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


Bill and Melinda Gates Delegation pays a Courtesy Call on EAC Secretary General

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 5th October , 2017:

The Program Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. John Ndunguru accompanied by Director of National Payment System from the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Mr. Bernard Dadi, today paid a courtesy call on the Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
 
The two officials discussed a wide range of issues surrounding the EAC integration process including the Financial Sector Development and Regionalization Project, a project funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the EAC Secretariat which focuses on mutual recognition of national IDs for free movement of persons, access to services across borders, and mobile money/non-bank transfers.
 
Mr. Nduguru reiterated the importance of the EAC-Bill and Melinda cooperation  in furthering regional integration efforts and re-affirmed the commitment of the foundation towards a concept for advancing financial inclusion in East Africa
 
He said the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been a strong supporter of the strategies and innovations that have extended digital financial services to the poor, demonstrating how they can overcome traditional barriers to financial inclusion.
 
On his part, Amb. Mfumukeko noted the strong collaboration that exists between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the East African people. The Secretary General urged the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its support to all EAC Partner States since the foundation was only working with United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Kenya and Uganda at the moment.
 
“In my view, in order to get a buy-in of the Community, especially at the level of the EAC Council of Ministers, please consider expanding your support to the Republics of Rwanda, Burundi and S.Sudan," said Amb. Mfumukeko.
 
The Secretary General  was accompanied by Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration, Ms. Jesca Eriyo, and other senior staff of the EAC Secretariat.

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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

African Countries losing 5% Revenue due to inefficient Border Procedures

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 27 September 2017:

Revenue losses from inefficient border procedures in some African countries are estimated to exceed 5% of the Gross Domestic Product, a Roundtable Conference on Trade Facilitation (TF) held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, was told today.

Citing a 2013 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study, Mr. James Kisaale, an Assistant Commissioner with the Uganda Revenue Authority, said that reducing global trade costs by 1% would increase worldwide income by more than US$40 billion, with developing countries being the biggest beneficiaries.
Kisaale said the areas that would contribute the most to lowering trade costs in Sub-Saharan Africa were formalities, namely automation, the simplification and harmonisation of documents, and information availability.

Kisaale was speaking during the opening session of the one-day roundtable on trade facilitation which brought together EAC Development Partners as well as Customs and Trade experts from the EAC Secretariat and Partner States’ Ministries of Trade.

The EAC Secretariat organised the Roundtable Conference to review and fast-track the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA). The Conference brought together Development Partners who will work with the EAC in the implementation of the TFA.

Opening the roundtable, the EAC Director General (DG)-Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, said that TF was an integral part of the EAC Customs Union Protocol which explicitly provides for reduction in the number and volume of trade documents.

“TF also provides for the adoption of common standards of trade documentation and procedures, coordination and facilitation of trade and transport activities. There is also the reviewing of procedures adopted in international trade and transport facilitation with a view to simplifying and adopting them for use in the EAC,” said the Bagamuhunda.

The DG disclosed that an EAC Trade and Facilitation Sub-Committee has been established to, among other things, supervise the implementation of the WTO TFA at regional and national levels.

He said that Regional and National Implementation Plans for the WTO TFA have been finalized and adopted by the Policy organs.

“Amendments of regional laws, regulations and procedures; development of project proposals for resource mobilization, and; sensitization of stakeholders is currently underway,” added the DG.

He cited the Single Customs Territory (SCT) and the interconnectivity of customs systems among some of the key TFA components that have been implemented by the EAC.
“The SCT provides for the free circulation of goods, reduces cost of doing business, reduces Non-Tariff Barriers, ensures competitiveness, boosts business predictability and promotes investment,” he said, adding that SCT is premised on the use of electronic systems.

Other components already implemented are: the establishment of One-Stop Border Posts; harmonisation of standards, reduction of Non-tariff barriers, and; publication of the EAC Trade and Investment report.

Speaking at the forum, Amb. Arthur Mattli, Switzerland’s Representative to the EAC, said that his country believes that bureaucratic delays and ‘red tapes’ pose an unnecessary and expensive burden for moving goods across borders for traders.

Amb. Mattli said the TFA would help developing countries diversify their exports and tap into global value chains.

He disclosed that Switzerland had so far disbursed US$3.5 million as part of its contribution to the TFA’s Trade Facilitation Support Programme, a multi-donor programme of the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice which provides support for countries seeking assistance in aligning their trade practices with the WTO TFA.

“Every country is eligible to receive support under the programme. Eligible countries are expected to have demonstrated a strong commitment to implementing trade facilitation reforms in the areas covered by the WTO TFA. Moreover, the support programme will prioritize assistance to countries with other limited access to other donor support,” said Amb. Mattli.


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Notes to Editor: 

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) entered into force on 22nd February, 2017 following its ratification by two-thirds (2/3) of the WTO membership, including two EAC Partner States Kenya and Rwanda. The TFA contains among others provisions relating to the transparency, expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. The agreement also sets out measures for effective cooperation between Customs and other border agencies on trade facilitation, customs and trade compliance issues.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

EAC Competition Authority Commissioners Meet in Arusha

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 19 September 2017:

The 2nd Meeting of the EAC Competition Authority to develop EAC Competition Authority Rules of Procedure and review progress reports for the Authority’s activities for the period January- June, 2017 was held  on 13th – 15th September, 2017 at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania

Gracing the opening of the meeting the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko emphasized the importance of competition law and policy in the facilitation of regional integration.

Amb. Mfumukeko informed the meeting that the Community has huge opportunities which are attractive to potential investors. However, the EAC markets pose challenges to investors and consumers including the charging of high prices arising from anti-competitive practices such as cartels. These practices impede effective competition in the markets, added Amb Mfumukeko.

The Secretary General disclosed to the meeting that the community was also focusing on increasing investment in industrialization and agricultural sectors as part of her strategies to reduce the high rate of unemployment in the region.

He informed the Commissioners that there is need to have a conducive environment to create employment by attracting investors from the Community and the rest of the world.

Amb. Mfumukeko further informed the Commissioners that he was hopeful that they will create an impact in the Community as they play a critical role towards leveling competition regulation across the Partner States

On his part ,the Chairperson of the Commissioners, Mr. Sam Watasa reiterated that full operationalization of the EAC competition Authority (Authority) would help to address market distortions that affect private sector investments.

He also noted that development of Competition policy and law in the region was at different levels of implementation. Kenya and Tanzania have operational National Competition Agencies, Rwanda and Burundi had enacted laws but are yet to be operationalized. In Uganda there was a draft Competition Bill. He envisaged that once the Authority became fully operational, the processes of operationalizing competition laws in Partner States would be enhanced.

The meeting was attended by Competition Authority Commissioners from all the Partner States and staff of the EAC Competition Authority.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org