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EAC undergoes third Joint Trade Policy Review by the World Trade Organization, 20th and 22nd March, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland

East African Community Secretariat, 29th March, 2019:EAC Partner States are committed to the multilateral trading system and are therefore reviewed after every six years by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Policy Review Mechanism.

It is in this context that the EAC Partner States underwent their Third joint Trade Policy Review from 20th to 22nd March, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of the review is to achieve greater transparency in, and understanding of the EAC’s trade and trade related policies on the Customs Union and Common Market by the WTO Members and to enable a multilateral assessment of the adherence by EAC Partner States who are WTO Members, to the rules, disciplines and commitments made under the WTO Agreements.

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1st Steering Committee Meeting of EAC Market Access Upgrade Programme underway in Arusha

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 6th February, 2019: The 1st Steering Committee meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is currently underway at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Officiating at the meeting’s session, the EAC Director General (DG) for Customs and Trade Directorate, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda said that the overarching goal of MARKUP was to contribute to the economic development of the EAC by increasing the value of both extra- and intra-regional agricultural exports, focussing on exports to the European Union (EU).

“It is meant basically to promote increased regional and international trade through improved competitiveness, value addition for enhanced trade and investment,” said Mr. Bagamuhunda.

The DG commended the EAC Partner States for engaging in dialogue with the EU and other partners to guide the scope and approach to Market Access Upgrade Programme.

The DG, who spoke on behalf of the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, said that the MARKUP would also enhance the capacity of the Community to take full advantage of the other free trade arrangements that are being concluded like the Tripartite COMESA-EAC-SADC Free Trade Area and the African Continental Free Trade Area.

He called for high level cooperation amongst the implementing agencies (GIZ, International Trade Centre and UN Industrial Development Organization), Partner States, the private sector, Project Coordination Unit (PCU), the EAC Secretariat, as well as the EU in order to ensure success of the project.

Addressing the same function, the Team Leader, Regional Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Tanzania, Mr. Jocelin Cornet, said the MARKUP was a pilot programme in the EAC-EU cooperation framework because it integrates national interventions complementing regional ones. Adding that the principle of subsidiarity was key to success in regional integration initiatives.

Cornet said that MARKUP was the first EU regional programme supporting the EAC Secretariat in developing key regional value chains and, in particular, a number of agro-industrial and horticultural products with high economic growth potential.

“We believe that sustainable cooperation programmes require clear ownership by our partners and last year's decision to fully integrate the MARKUP programme in the EAC decisional processes through the EAC Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) was to us a clear sign of ownership, which in itself deserves to be commended,” said Cornet.

He cautioned that MARKUP was a complex project which will require extra efforts in coordination in addition to wide consultations both at the national and regional level. Crucial in this will be the work of the programme's PCU, which he commended for the efforts in this initial phase.

The EU official further said that the setting up of appropriate governance mechanisms at the national level (like National Coordination Groups or Steering Committees) and the foreseen role of National Focal Points was equally very critical.

“Regional integration is not usually well understood by our citizens and therefore the need to put in place a well-coordinated and effective communication and visibility plan for MARKUP activities as this will ensure appropriate knowledge-sharing and buy-in from the many stakeholders,” said Cornet.

He expressed satisfaction with the work carried out so far by the main implementing partners in the EAC WINDOW, namely GIZ and International Trade Centre (ITC), and assured them and the Partner States WINDOW implementers (including UNIDO and the EAC Partner States) of EU’s trust and support and requested for quality results/outputs.

On his part, GIZ’s Senior Trade Advisor, Mr. Bernd Schmidt, said GIZ considers MARKUP as an important complement to the strong, positive and continued cooperation with the EAC Secretariat.

“MARKUP fits very well with the BMZ’s Marshall Plan with Africa which inter alia underlines that Africa must be more than the continent of raw materials. The economic policy which powers the German Marshall Plan focuses on diversification, the establishment of value chains targeted support for agriculture and SMEs and dismantling trade barriers,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt disclosed that GIZ will, among other things, coordinate activities aimed at improving the harmonization of standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures in addition to closing implementation gaps.

The two-day meeting, which is being chaired by Rwanda’s Trade Negotiation and Cooperation Specialist, Mrs. Basemera Peace Mugisha, is considering the Report of the EAC-EU adhoc MARKUP Steering Committee meeting held from 27th to 28th February, 2018; MARKUP Progress reports on the EAC and Partner States Window, and: the Work plans under the Partner States Window.

The meeting is being attended by Permanent/Principal Secretaries from the Partner States’ line Ministries, officials from EU, GIZ, ITC, the East African Business Council and EAC Secretariat staff.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The East African Community (EAC) Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a 4-year initiative funded by the European Union (EU), with co-financing from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) to the tune of Euro 39 million. It was launched on 20th June, 2018 at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. It covers, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. MARKUP addresses both the supply side and market access constraints of selected key export-oriented commodities: coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, avocados and other selected horticultural products. The overarching goal of MARKUP is to contribute to the economic development of the EAC region by increasing the value of both extra- and intra-regional agricultural exports, focussing on exports to the European Union.

This goal will be achieved through the realization of 4 key results:

  1. Improved capacity to advocate for the removal of sector trade barriers;
  2. Improved sector standards and harmonisation of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures;
  3. Enhanced export competitiveness for sector SMEs, and;
  4. Improved business development capacities for sector SMEs.

Delivery Approach

MARKUP has a two-pronged intervention approach:

  • EAC Window: Supporting the EAC Secretariat to co-ordinate selected region-wide policyregulatory and capacity building initiatives, and
  • Partner States Window: Supporting Partner States and stakeholders to implement country-specific or tailor made initiatives to address supply side and market access constraints.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) implements actions for Results 1, 3 and 4 of the EAC Window; while the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) implements actions for Result 2 and provides overall co-ordination of the Programme on behalf of the EAC Secretariat.

 

-ENDS-

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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

 MSMEs advised to patent their innovations and products

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 11th December, 2018: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the East African Community have been advised to patent their products and innovations to prevent theft of the same by unscrupulous persons.

Uasin Gishu Senator, Professor Margaret Kamar, further said that it was only through patenting that East African products would not be misused and abused.

Prof. Kamar gave the example of the kiondo basket, which was a Kenyan innovation that had been patented in Japan, adding that any Kenyan who wanted to produce the same had to ask for permission from the patent owners.

Prof. Kamar said Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa to pass intellectual property laws and urged Kenyan innovators to take advantage of this law to protect their products and ideas against theft.

She said value addition to minerals and raw agricultural produce was a must if African countries were to reap maximum benefits from its exports their trading partners in Europe, North America and Asia.

Prof. Kamar called for the elimination of middlemen so that African products could directly access markets in Europe and the USA, adding that EAC governments should also promote African apparel and textiles by making it mandatory for employees to wear the same for at least three days of the week.

“Our future in EAC is to promote our own goods. The balance of trade with the outside world is still very huge and we need to bridge that gap,” said Prof. Kamar.

Senator Kamar was speaking at the Eldoret Sports Club grounds in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya, when she presided over the official closing ceremony of the 19th EAC Annual Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition. The exhibition opened its doors on 2nd December, 2018 and drew more than 1,500 exhibitors from five EAC Partner States, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

In her remarks, the Deputy Director of Trade in the Ministry of Trade, Industrialization and Cooperatives, Kenya, Ms Gladys Kinyua, called on EAC Partner States to establish One Stop Shops for MSMEs in the capital cities to enable them to move their products freely within the region.

Ms Kinyua, who represented the Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Chris Kiptoo, further urged the EAC Secretariat to create a website where MSMEs in the region could market their products to the world freely.

Speaking at the event, the Uasin Gishu County Executive Committee for Trade, Dr. Emily Kogos, urged EAC governments to support MSMEs saying that they were the foundation for industrialisation in East Africa.

The Director of Trade at the EAC Secretariat, Al Hajj Rashid Kibowa, described the 19th Exhibition as the best and biggest ever, adding that innovators had sold their products, struck deals and built networks with some procuring orders for delivery.

“We take MSMEs seriously because they will be the starting point for investment and industrialisation in the region,” said Al Hajj Kibowa.

-ENDS-

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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

 Intra-EAC Trade still very low, says EAC Official

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 6th December, 2018: Intra-regional trade within the East African Community is currently very low standing at just less than 20%.

The Director of Trade at the EAC Secretariat, Alhajj Rashid Kibowa, said that this was extremely low compared to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) where intra-regional trade levels stand at 46% and the EU at approximately 67%.

Alhajj Kibowa disclosed that from next year onwards, the exhibitors and their stalls at the Annual EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition and Symposium will not be arranged according to the Partner States but according to product sectors to enhance information sharing, inter-sectoral/product benchmarking, and striking business deals amongst the exhibitors.

In the previous and ongoing 19th exhibition, exhibitors and their stalls have been arranged according to Partner States and in alphabetical order.   

Alhajj Kibowa, who was addressing participants attending a symposium on Products Value Addition taking place on the sidelines of the 19th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition at the Eldoret Sports Club, decried the low levels of intra-EAC trade.

“Partner States need to take advantage of regional integration initiatives like this Jua Kaliexhibition in order to scale up trade amongst themselves, otherwise the statistic is still lower but with a lot of potential for expansion,” he said.

The Director further said that that unlike the earlier exhibitions, the ongoing exhibition and future ones would be complemented with a strong daily symposium purposely to empower the exhibitors with knowledge, skills and attitudinal change needed for the growth of the informal sector.

Earlier, the Managing Director of J&L Enterprises, Mrs. Louise Judicate Mosha made a presentation on Product Value Edition to an enthusiastic audience composed mainly of women entrepreneurs from the Partner States at the exhibition.

Mrs. Mosha, a Tanzanian who owns the Dar es Salaam-based Company dealing with Agro-processing and Handicrafts, took the participants through her practical experience in product value addition and becoming a successful entrepreneur.

She said J&L Enterprises started by making candles but has now graduated and spread its product chain to include agro-processing and handicrafts.

Answering questions raised on packaging, value addition and standards by the participants, the EAC Principal Standards Officer, Mrs. Stella Apolot, said that packaging was an integral part of value addition as it contributes to the safety, quality, acceptance and competitiveness of the products before the consumers.

She said packaging technology ranges from simple to complex ones in terms of the safety requirements and design, amongst others, and that products have different packaging requirements to ensure that the design is right and the quality is right in protecting the integrity of the product being packaged.

“Packaging industry in the EAC is less developed and remains a big challenge for most small and medium enterprises in identifying the right packaging and the costs involved,” said Mrs. Apolot.

On Food Additives, the EAC Principal Standards Officer said that they play a big role in value addition to achieve customer quality requirements. As component of food, food additives are subject to pre-market approval by by experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate their safety under the conditions of intended use.

“Food additives, despite being a necessity in value addition, may trigger allergic reactions and possibly lead to other serious health issues” and therefore MSMEs need to know the recommended food additives and quantities for each product and the information is readily available at Codex Allimentarius Commision website http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/codex-texts/list-standards/jp/; “Codex Standards for Food Additives,” said the Standards expert. 

The daily symposium continues with the Republic of Rwanda expected to make a presentation on Standards, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing (SQMT) on Thursday, 6th December, 2018; Uganda will present on Benefits and opportunities from EAC integration to SMEs on Friday, 7th December, 2018; Burundi will tackle EAC Rules of Origin on Saturday, 8th December, 2018; while the Republic of South Sudan will present on MSMEs development on Sunday, 9th December, 2018.

Earlier on 3rd December, the Republic of Kenya made a presentation on cross-border trade; simplified trade regime and tackling non-tariff barriers (NTBs). Kenya’s Anti Counterfeit Agency also made a presentation on the same day. The United Republic of Tanzania made a presentation on Product Value Addition.

The daily symposium starts at 10.00 am and continues until midday at the Show ground.

-ENDS-

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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

 

19th EAC Juna Kali-Nguvu Kazi Exhibition set for Eldoret, Kenya

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 20th November, 2018: The 19th edition of the annual East African Community Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition is set for 2nd to 10th December, 2018 at the Eldoret Sports Club in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. The theme of the Exhibition is Buy Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSEs) Products, Build East Africa.

The EAC has been undertaking SMEs Development through the East Africa Jua Kali/ Nguvu Kazi exhibition. The exhibition is an annual event that exposes the products manufactured in the region. Organized jointly on a rotational basis by the EAC Secretariat, the East African Confederation of Informal Sector Organisation (EACISO) in collaboration with EAC Partner States, the event brings together artisans from the six (6) EAC Partner States comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The first exhibition was held in Arusha in November 1999 during the historic signing of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. Subsequent to the success of the Arusha exhibition, the EAC Heads of State directed that the Exhibition be held annually, on a rotational basis amongst the Partner States so as to enhance economic integration in East Africa.

Marking 19 years to date, the annual exhibition brings together artisans from the East African region for purposes of opening up new market frontiers for their products while bridging the knowledge and technological gaps between them.

According to the Director General Customs and Trade at the EAC Secretariat, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the theme portrays the role MSEs are expected to play in the growth and development of the region’s economies. Mr. Bagamuhunda disclosed that so far 1,100 artisans have registered and confirmed their participation at the event.

The 19th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Exhibition will be officially opened on 4th December, 2018.

To participate in the Exhibition, exhibitors from Partner States (Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan) are required to register with their respective Confederation of Informal Sector Organizations and Ministries of Trade and Industry, while those in Kenya should register with the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority.

During the Exhibition daily symposia will be conducted to build the capacity of the artisans on integration matters as follows:

S/N

Topic

Presenter/ Facilitator

Day

1

Cross Border Trade, Simplified Trade Regime and dealing with NTBs

Republic of Kenya

3rd December, 2018

2

Products value addition

United Republic of Tanzania

5th December, 2018

3

Standards, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing (SQMT)

Republic of Rwanda

6th December, 2018

4

Benefits and opportunities from the EAC Integration to SMEs

Republic of Uganda

7th December, 2018

5

EAC Rules of Origin

Republic of Burundi

8th December, 2018

6

MSMES development and opportunities in the Republic of South Sudan

Republic of South Sudan

9th December, 2018

NOTES TO EDITORS:

In order to support promotion of the Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi sector of the regional economy, the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Partner States and Confederation of Informal Sector Organization East Africa (CISO-EA) has organized the annual exhibition since 1999.  The exhibitions have proved to be strategic avenues for promoting the Small and Micro Enterprises sector’s products, transfer of technologies, and promotion of the regional integration process.

-ENDS-

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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the EAC Director General Customs and Trade, at the EAC Headquarters addressing the opening session of the TradeCom II Stakeholder Workshop at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha.

EAC keen on promoting Intra- and Inter-Regional Trade

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 26th March, 2018:

The East African Community is working overdrive to enhance market access to regional and international markets through a comprehensive export promotion strategy.

The EAC Director General, Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, said the Community is implementing programmes aimed at promoting and strengthening intra- and inter-regional trade including the implementation of trade facilitation programmes particularly the removal of Non-tariff Barriers (NTBs) to trade.

The DG said that the EAC had prioritized growth in its exports through value addition and capacity building for exporters to enable them know about export requirements especially in the EU.

Mr. Bagamuhunda further said that the Community had put in place mechanisms for the dissemination of applicable trade requirements and trade statistics.

Other measures to promote trade include the harmonization of regional standards and strengthening the performance of exports through the implementation of the EAC Export Promotion Strategy.

Mr. Bagamuhunda said that while the Community had developed a number of key strategies and policies aimed at boosting trade, the biggest challenge was how to implement them.

“The elimination of tariffs is not a problem. The biggest problem is removing Non-tariff Barriers which keep on changing and coming up in different forms,” he said.

On the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), Mr. Bagamuhunda said now was the time to push for the full implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) bringing together EAC, COMESA and SADC.

“The TFTA is the stepping stone to the CFTA because what remains in TFTA is its implementation. The Tripartite constitutes more than 60% of the Africa’s GDP and over half of the continent’s population,” said the DG.

The DG was speaking during the official opening session of a three day workshop convened by the TradeComII Programme at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The stakeholder workshop which has drawn participants from EAC Partner States, the private sector, youth and women’s organisations, and development partners will  discuss presentation on the: Draft EAC Export Promotion Strategy 2017-2022; EAC Framework of Non-Tariff Barriers, and; EAC Simplified Trade Regime for Women and Youth Traders.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Fabio di Stefano, Head of the Infrastructure and Regional Integration Sectors at the European Union Delegation in Tanzania, said the EU’s main focus in working with the EAC was on trade and economic growth in the region.

Mr. Stefano said that political goodwill from EAC leaders will be critical if East Africa was to become integrated economically, adding that reforms to national laws and policies would also be required for the full implementation of protocols and agreements made at the regional level.

Mr. Stefano said some of the key drivers of regional integration in East Africa as has been the case elsewhere were peace and security, and infrastructure development.

NOTE FOR EDITORS:

The EAC Secretariat obtained support to the tune of 300,000 Euros from the ACP-EU through the TradeCom II programme to develop appropriate strategies on export development and the elimination of Non-tariff Barriers inhibiting trade among Partner States and between Partner States and their trading partners.

The strategies address the main constraints relating to the legal, regulating and institutional requirements at both the regional and Member States levels and lack of financial and human resources to accommodate the increased demands related to the implementation of the TFTA and boosting Partner States capacity to supply the European markets through a sound and sustainable export promotion strategy.

 -ENDS-

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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

18th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition Concludes in Bujumbura, Burundi

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 11th December, 2017:

The 18th edition of the annual EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition themed Buy East African Medium and Small Enterprises’ (MSEs) products to build East Africa, came to an end in Bujumbura, Burundi on Sunday, 10th December, 2017.

The exhibition, which attracted 830 artisans from five Partner States – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and the host country Burundi – ended with a call by the government of Burundi government to the other EAC Partner States to strongly support the private and informal sector in the bloc.

Speaking during the event’s closing ceremony, Burundi’s Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Nkunzumwami Aimable, said there was need to deliberately support the growth of Jua Kali (informal sector) by giving the necessary and enabling policies that are conducive to enhance opportunities and returns on investment in the informal sector.

Mr. Aimable, who was representing the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, challenged the artisans not to wait for another Jua Kali exhibition opportunity in Burundi but to use this opportunity to network and open up stalls in Bujumbura and other parts of the country so that their products can be easily accessed in the country.

“Don’t just sit and wait for the annual exhibitions, venture out and explore opportunities available in all the Partner States”, the governments are ready to support you,” said the Minister to the participants.

He said the prevailing peace and security in Burundi was good for the East African citizens to invest or tour the country.

Addressing the same occasion, the EAC Director of Trade, Alhaj Rashid Kibowa, said the exhibition had offered a very good opportunity for the artisans to enhance competitiveness and increase employment, thereby accelerating the region’s sustainable economic growth and reducing poverty.

He acknowledged the role played by the informal sector in the economies of the Partner States in terms of employment creation and income generation.

Alhaj Kibowa said that the sector contributes to the resilience of the regional economy by promoting industrialization through the utilization of the available raw materials, and as a player in the backward and forward value chain linkages the big manufacturing firms.

Kibowa commended the Partner States and EAC Confederation of Informal Sector Organizations (CISO) for partnering with the Secretariat in organizing the annual exhibitions. He also commended the EAC Steering Committee for the successful preparations of the event.

The Deputy Patron of the CISO, Mr. Keli Kiilu rooted for the institutionalization of the EAC CISO/Jua Kali-Nguvu Kazi week in the Community in order to recognize the critical role the sector plays in the Partner State’s economies but also to dedicate time for CISO /Jua Kali-Nguvu Kazi activities during that period.

Meanwhile several dignitaries visited the EAC exhibition stand during the one –week-long event to learn about the regional integration agenda. Among them was the First Lady Rev. Denise Nkurunziza, who spoke fluent Kiswahili.

Others included the Secretary General of the Government, Hon. Philippe Nzobonariba; Hon. Felix Mpozeriniga, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Employment; Hon. Dr. Josiane Nijimbere, Minister of Public Health; Mr. Nduati Mwangi, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Industry; several government officials and Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Republic of Burundi.

-ENDS-

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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

EAC Secretary General Amb Liberat Mfumukeko receiving the  First  Vice President of Burundi H.E Sindimwo to officially open the 18th EAC Jua Kali Exhibition in Bujumbura.

Burundi's First Vice President graces Official Opening Ceremony of 18th EAC Jua Kali/ Nguvu Kazi Exhibition in Bujumbura

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 7th December 2017:

The First Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, H. E. Gaston Sindimwo today graced the official opening ceremony of the 18th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition taking place at the Jardin Public in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The 18th edition of the annual EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition themed Buy East African Medium and Small Enterprises’ (MSEs) products to build East Africa has attracted over 800 artisans from five EAC Partner States (Uganda, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of South Sudan and the host country Burundi).

Addressing government Ministers, EAC Ambassadors accredited to Burundi, officials and artisans present, on behalf of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, the First Vice President said the 18th Jua Kali exhibition came at a time when the Republic of Burundi was consolidating peace and stability, and the population of Burundi including the Jua Kali artisans were proudly going about their daily activities without fear of their security or any hindrance.

“There is now peace in each corner of the country and our Government is striving for the edification of a stable, modern and unified country”, affirmed H.E Sindimwo, adding that, “let your presence here bear witness of the peace prevailing in Burundi”.

“The country and its people are ready to move forward and we are inviting the East Africans and the international community to come and live or invest in our country, your security and investments are guaranteed by the government, so feel free to come to Burundi and explore opportunities,” declared the First Vice President.

“We feel that the East African leaders have to ensure that our integration agenda is strongly erected on peace building, which is a prerequisite that unifies all of us in the edification of a strong East African Community”.

The First Vice President noted that one of the biggest challenges to growth of the Micro and Small Enterprises and industries in EAC was lack of an elaborate and clear supportive policy framework in all the Partner States meant to, among others, create MSEs Authority or Ministries that will oversee the development and promotion of small businesses, as promoting indigenous business growth in the EAC region was an urgent matter.

Addressing the same occasion, the Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said hosting and providing a lot of support to this year’s Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition in Bujumbura was a true demonstration and commitment by the Republic of Burundi to the EAC integration agenda.

He disclosed that EAC had made Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi a priority in its successive Development Strategies specifically to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector in recognition of the role they play within the economies of the Partner States in regard to employment creation and income generation.

The Secretary General informed his audience that the Community was continuing to make substantial inroads in the regional integration process for example implementation of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) had recorded reduction in the times taken to clear goods at the ports of entry into the region and also movement of cargo within the bloc. The Single Customs Territory had eliminated multiple clearances at internal borders and this improved situation were presenting an opportunity for SMEs to take advantage of the duty free market in EAC and also create competition from cheaper imported products.

Amb. Mfumukeko also disclosed that the Community intends to rebrand and repackage the Jua Kali Nguvu Kazi through an online platform in order to create continuous connectivity between the members.

“This will create an online network of SMEs and consumers, which will improve the markets of their products and also open up our SMEs to foreign markets and innovations”. The programme will later expand to include critical areas of financing, standards and capacity building. We will start with this exhibition by developing an online catalogue of exhibitors and their products so that there is exchange of information through a dedicated portal at regional level”, disclosed Amb. Mfumukeko

The Secretary General commended the Partner States, Confederation of Informal sector Organization, Regional and National Steering Committees, and the EAC Secretariat staff for the successful organization of the event.

Present at the official opening ceremony were, among others, Honourable Ministers of Trade and that of the Office of the President Responsible for EAC Affairs; the EAC Deputy Secretary General for Planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Mlote; the Director General of EAC Customs and Trade Directorate, Mr Kenneth Bagamuhunda; Ambassadors and High Commissioners from the EAC; Permanent Secretaries; Chairperson and members of the East African Confederation of Informal Sector Organization (EACISO); and Representatives from various institutions

In order to support promotion of the Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi sector of the regional economy, the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Partner States and Confederation of Informal Sector Organization East Africa (CISO-EA) has organized the annual exhibitions since 1999. The exhibitions have proved to be strategic avenues for promoting the sector’s products, transfer of technologies, and promotion of the regional integration process.

 

18th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition set for Bujumbura, Burundi

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 1st December 2017:

The 18th edition of the annual EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition is set for 4th to 10th December 2017 at the Jardin Public in Bujumbura, Burundi. The theme of the Exhibition is “Buy East African Medium and Small Enterprises’ (MSEs) products to build East Africa” and portrays the role of East Africans in building their economy. Over 1,000 artisans have so far registered and confirmed their participation in the event.

The 18th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Exhibition will be officially opened on 6th December 2017.

To participate in the Exhibition, exhibitors from Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda are required to register with the respective Ministries of Trade and Industry, while those in Kenya must register with the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority.

In order to support promotion of the Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi sector of the regional economy, the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Partner States and Confederation of Informal Sector Organization East Africa (CISO-EA) has organized the annual exhibitions since 1999. The exhibitions have proved to be strategic avenues for promoting the sector’s products, transfer of technologies, and promotion of the regional integration process.

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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. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

Madagascar signs Tripartite Trade Agreement

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 17 July 2017:

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. Tax.

In attendance also was Hon. Nourdine Chabany, Minister of Industry and Private Sector representing the Minister of Trade and Consumption of the Republic of Madagascar; the Counsel to the Community, Hon. Dr. Kafumbe Mukasa; senior Government Officials; representatives of the Private Sector; Their Excellencies the Ambassadors of Mauritius and South Africa; as well as the Ambassador designate of the Republic of Madagascar to the African Union.

The European Union was represented by Mr. Lothar Jaschke, Head of of Sector, Political, Press and Information from the EU Delegation in Madagascar.

The Republic of South Africa became the 19th country to sign the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement during the 6th meeting of the Tripartite Sectoral Ministerial Committee of on Trade, Customs, Finance, Economic Matters and Home/Internal Affairs (TSMC) held on 7 July 2017 in Kampala, Uganda.

At the 6th meeting of the Tripartite Sectoral Ministerial Committee, the Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko reported that 18 Member/Partner States had signed the Agreement and that Egypt was the only country to have ratified it. A total of 14 ratifications are required for the Agreement to enter force.

Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko informed the meeting that South Africa and Madagascar were ready to sign the Agreement and encouraged the remaining countries to follow suit. South Africa subsequently signed the Agreement in Kampala.

At that Kampala meeting, the Secretary General reported progress on the legal scrubbing of Annexes II, IV and X, negotiations on tariff offers and the signature and ratification of the Agreement.

Amb. Mfumukeko indicated that there had been limited progress on Phase II negotiations and the Agreement on the Movement of Business Persons. However, studies on Phase II issues had been undertaken and disseminated and that TTF was in the process of mobilizing resources to facilitate the necessary consultative meetings.

At the 6th meeting of the Tripartite Sectoral Ministerial Committee, Uganda’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, stated that the intra-Tripartite trade was only 19% of the continent’s $930 billion total trade and this could be attributed to low industrialization, restricted movement of labour, poor infrastructure and high dependency on the export of unprocessed commodities.

The Minister observed that the Tripartite provided the opportunities to unlock the enormous trade and investment potential of the bloc. In this regard, the business community was waiting anxiously towards the opening up of the market of over 600 million people. She further observed that almost all the Annexes had been finalized save for the built in agenda.

At the same meeting, South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Dr. Rob Davies observed that the outstanding Annexes had been concluded and highlighted the need to have a functional FTA that would benefit the business community. He noted that the TFTA was a building block for the Continental FTA, hence the need to make more progress in the TFTA negotiations.

The Kampala meeting was attended by delegates from Angola, Botswana, Burundi, D.R. Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


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Notes to Editor: 

At the 1st Tripartite Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Kampala in October, 2008 leaders of 26 African countries met and took a bold step to establish the largest trading arrangement in Africa.

The 3rd Tripartite Summit of Heads of State and Government signed the Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) Agreement on 10thJune, 2015 at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. The Agreement was expected to come into force 30 days after 14 Tripartite Member/Partner States deposit instruments of ratification. The Tripartite Summit also signed the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration launching the Tripartite FTA and commencement of Phase II of the Tripartite negotiations and adopted a Tripartite FTA Post Signature Implementation Roadmap.

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.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified


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  |  sgoffice@eachq.org