Last week saw a lot of activity within the framework of trade in EAC. Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment from Tanzania Prof, Adolf Mkenda held a meeting with his Kenyan counterpart Dr. Chris Kiptoo in the neighbors busiest border post, Namanga. The scorching sun of the Namanga’s savannah did not prevent them from reaching a trade soothing deal. Concurrently, private sector rose to the occasion. Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Chairman Dr. Reginald Mengi led a bilateral meeting with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) whose delegation was led by Mr. George Owwur, Governor for EAC Affairs.
While Permanent Secretaries resolved challenges of Wheat and domestic gas trade for Tanzanians, the private sector bodies deliberated and called for increased commitments and consequent implementation of the common market protocol. Tanzania’s firms sought access to Kenya’s markets while Kenya’s firm sought ease of doing business. In the landmark private sector dialogue, companies specified legislative challenges which affect businesses and pledged to advocate for reforms, each on behalf of the other. The underlying theme emerging was – “We’re in this together”, and if we fail to do business our integration is rendered useless.
It was indeed encouraging to note one of the largest trading blocks in Africa, puts business top of its agenda. Safe to say for now that when we mention ‘EAC’, we mean ‘business’.
Director of Policy Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF)