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About the EAC MSMEs Trade Fair

The East African Community undertakes MSMEs promotion through bringing together different artisans from all the Partner States under the annual East African Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Trade Fair formally known as the EAC Jua Kali Nguvu Kazi Exhibition. The Trade Fair is organized by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Confederation of Micro and Small Enterprises Organization (CMSEO - EA) and the Partner States.

The first Trade Fair was held in Arusha in November 1999 during the historic event of signing of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Subsequent to the success of the Arusha Trade Fair, the EAC Heads of State directed that the Trade Fair be held annually on rotational basis among the EAC Partner States so as to enhance and revamp the socio-economic integration of the people of East Africa, opening up new market frontiers for their products while bridging up the knowledge and technological gaps between them.

Since then annual exhibitions have been held in Nairobi (2000 and 2001), Kampala (2002), Dar-es-Salaam (2003), Mombasa (2004), Kampala (2005), Dares Salaam (2006) Nairobi 2007, Kigali (2008) Dar es Salaam (2009), Kampala (2011), Bujumbura (2012), Nairobi (2013), Kigali (2014). Dar esSalaam 2015), Kampala (2016), Bujumbura (2017), Eldoret (2018), Kigali (2019), Mwanza (2021) and Kampala (2022).

Note: The 2020 Trade Fair did not take place because of COVID-19 restrictions.


1.2.1 The Main Objective

The MSMEs sector has proven to be a viable vehicle for the regional industrialization take-off in the years to come. The Trade Fair is therefore organised to bring together the artisans and small business of EAC for the purpose of opening up new market frontiers for their products and at the same time bridging-up the technological gaps between them. The sector is expected to create a sound footing for the integration process for an effective and sustainable social economic development of the region.

The main objective of the Trade Fair is to contribute towards the realisation of the Regional Development Goals and aspirations by lending support to this budding sector of the economy, which needs public patronage and Government supportin order to be sustainable.

The Trade Fairs are further expected to create considerable impact on the image of the sector, which is today seen as the panacea to the daunting question of unemployment and poverty alleviation in the region.

1.2.2 Specific Objectives:

The specific objectives include among others:

  1. Creating awareness of the MSMEs sector’s potential in producing and providing essential affordable goods and services and showcasing the Regional diversified cultures;
  2. Bridging the gaps in trade and social economic imbalances in the region;
  3. Creating instant expanded marketing outlets for the sector’s products/services;
  4. Creating expanded investment opportunities for the regional up-coming/emerging entrepreneurs;
  5. Initiating dialogue between the entrepreneurs and sharing knowledge in technology and business techniques;
  6. Facilitating sector mobilisation and empowerment at regional level;
  7. Encouraging and facilitating local and regional tourism;
  8. According to the regional artisans an opportunity to participate in a regional programme; and
  9. Enhancing personal interaction for extended social and business relationships and,
  10. Providing for discussions of important topics through symposia, with a view to recommending harmonisation of policies and strategies in enhancing regional integration and development of East Africa.

1.3 Benefits of the Trade Fair

Experiences indicate that the major world economies from Europe to the Asian Tigers are generally underpinned by a large and vibrant MSMEs sector. Similarly, in the EAC, the sector has proven to be a valuable vehicle in bringing together the Partner States to create a sustainable economic bloc. The MSMEs play a critical and key role in the realisation of the manufacturing facet of the Government’s economic agenda. The sector also assists in generating jobs especially to the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups such as youth, women and disabled persons who possess technical and managerial business skills.

If nurtured and adequately supported, the sector has the potential to make significant contributions to the regional development through:-

i. Instant market and business transactions for the sector’s products;

ii. Mobilisation of local resources for production of industrial products;

iii. Provide a platform for industrial take off and self- sufficiency in industrial goods and services

iv. Creation of employment, wealth and poverty reduction thus enhancing security in the Region

v. Facilitate sustainable economic growth and a more integrated EAC

vi.   Establish tangible and viable cooperation programmes;

vii. Facilitating technology transfer and business management skills;

viii. Improved community participation and social responsibility by the stakeholders;

ix.   Enjoyment of goodwill through association with stakeholders;

x. Exposure to local and regional tourism;

xi.   Enhanced sector mobilisation and empowerment; and

xii. Facilitation of harmonisation of policies and strategies on MSMEs in the Partner States.


The 23rd Trade Fair is scheduled to take place from 5th - 15th December 2023 in Bujumbura, Burundi. The Trade Fair will bring together more than 1,000 exhibitors from all the EAC Partner States.

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

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