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Jobs in Africa African Continental Free Trade Area.

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA ) could be a way out for Africa's unemployed and leeway for people seeking to invest in Africa as well as transform jobs in Africa.

Africa is home to the youngest population in the world. The United Nations points out that sub-Saharan Africa has 70 per cent of its population under 30. Numbers are excellent tools when it comes to analysing scenarios. Hence Africa has enough human capital to propel its growth. 

Africa's growth can only be realised if young minds across the region are fully empowered and utilised effectively for the betterment of the continent. The UN finds young people essential in building better economic systems and fuel sustainability.  

Sadly, the youth are facing a much grimmer reality—unemployment. Nearly 60 per cent of the youth population in Africa are unemployed. 

However, the state of young people is dire when that segment of the

  • EABC Calls for the formulation of EAC transport and logistic charter/framework to boost the competitiveness of the region
  • EAC transport costs are high estimated at US$1.8 per km per container against international best practices of US$1 per km per container
  • The logistics performance in the region over time has improved as a result of a decline in tariffs and removal of trade barriers

Transport and logistic costs compose 35 per cent to 42 per cent of production, which is high compared to 8 per cent in Asian countries.

Dr. Merian Sebunya, Chairperson of National Logistics Platform, Uganda, explains that this has negatively impacted the competitiveness of the EAC bloc and trade balance.

EAC transport costs are high, estimated at US$1.8 per km per container, against international best practices of US$1 per km per container.

Cost of transport and logistics in the EAC region

Speaking at the EABC-TradeMark East …

The East African Community (EAC) and the East African Business Council (EABC) with support from the German Development Agency (GIZ), have launched an EAC potato value-chain platform to be known as the “Jumuiya Potato Platform”. 

This platform aims to harness the potential of the potato value chain in the region to enable proper production and commercialization of the food crop on the realization that it is one of the key agricultural produce traded and consumed widely.  Over 2.2 million farmers across the EAC partner states earn their living from the potato sector.  

The Jumuiya Potato Platform has now been formalized under a Public-Private Partnership structure to enable sustainable research, innovation and free trade right from the potato seed. 

The Potato Platform has been arrived at after a series of engagements between stakeholders representing national governments on the public front, farmers and traders on the private side with guidance from the

  • Cross border business between Kenya and Uganda is stifled by Kenya
  • Cross border traders decried the impounding of products from Kenya and Uganda by both countries
  • Intra-EAC trade decreased from 21 per cent in 2015 to 14 per cent attributed to Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs)

Cross border business between Kenya and Uganda via Busia One-Stop Border Post is being hampered by Kenya.

The East African Business Council (EABC) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) say the unilateral bans on products, high fees by the Agriculture & Food Authority (AFA)-Kenya, trade information asymmetry and single lane road on Kenya’s side stifle business between the two East African countries.

Cross border traders decried the impounding of fish from Kenya destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo worth Ksh40 million in October 2021 by Uganda and import ban on eggs and sugarcane by Kenya.

Read: Kenya’s Tea Party: Robots taking over peasants jobs

Speaking during …

  • Kenya and Uganda need to engage in bilateral negotiations to eradicate all outstanding Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs).
  • EAC products have been denied preferential market access as a result of trade sanctions.
  • Intra-EAC trade is currently at a low of 15 per cent.

The East African Business Council (EABC) is urging Kenya and Uganda to engage in bilateral negotiations to eradicate all outstanding Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs).

It is hoped that a bilateral conversation will avoid a trade standoff and retribution from the implementation of NTB by Kenya and Uganda in accordance with the Treaty for the formation of the East African Community (EABC) spirit.

Instead of using retribution as the final solution, EABC believes that the two sisterly nations should sit down together and work out all of their differences peacefully.

Read: Non-tarrif barriers still a thorn in EAC’s flesh 

Because EAC products have been denied preferential market access as a result …

  • Posta’s network has more than 600 branches countrywide
  • Africa is now implementing the Africa free Continental Trade Area
  • For AfCFTA to be successful, all African countries must address more non-tariff barriers and build value chains in the various regions.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) have forged a strategic partnership to tap into e-commerce business and intra-regional trade for its members.

Speaking during the signing of the agreement, Phyllis Wakiaga, the CEO of KAM said, “Posta’s network of more 600 branches countrywide, and linkages with other postal organisations in the African region would come in handy for exports and imports, at a time when Africa is implementing the Africa free Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

The partnership will see PCK offer same day and overnight courier services, rider dedicated services, clearing and forwarding services to the association and its members.

Read: AfCFTA sounds the

  • The private sector in the community has been urged to drive the buy and build East Africa initiative
  • Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the EAC dropped by 43% to USD. 4.9 billion in 2020
  • Jobs declined by 2%, wiping out the gains made in previous year

Trade between East Africa Community countries dropped by 5.5% to USD. 5.9 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19 while exports from the bloc to the world hit 16.2 billion in 2020 a 3% boost in comparison to  2019.

This is according to the East Africa Business Council CEO John Bosco Kalisa who urged the private sector in the community to drive the buy East African, build East Africa narrative.

He added that the campaign is central in driving the economic recovery agenda for the EAC bloc amid COVID-19 pandemic.

He spoke during a webinar on EAC Trade & Investment Recovery amidst COVID-19 organized by …

Private sector players in the region have expressed optimism in making steps towards the recovery of Covid-19.

This follows a commitment by the East African Community Secretariat to prioritize strengthening public-private sector partnerships between the private sector in the region and the EAC Partner States governments, to jointly invest in vaccine manufacturing in the region.

The EAC Secretary-General, Dr Peter Mathuki said that there was a need for a coordinated approach in handling COVID-19 in the region and emphasized the need for local production of vaccines.

“EAC is working on strengthening partnerships between the private sector and EAC Partner States’ governments, to jointly establish an investment in vaccine manufacturing, to ensure the region can produce and avail vaccines to East Africans. Truck drivers transporting goods across the region should also be included among the priority groups who need to be vaccinated,” Dr Mathuki said.

Mathuki also noted that the EAC …

The EAC bloc should urgently work to attract international investors and embark on joint regional investments in the vaccine manufacturing industry for quick economic recovery.

This is according to East African Business Council Chairman Nicholas Nesbitt who is calling for a coordinated approach on COVID-19 measures to spur EAC economic recovery and growth.

Nesbitt noted that joint EAC investment offers a larger pool of capital resources, expertise and market.

At the same time, EAC’s board has directed the EABC Secretariat to champion advocacy on the adoption of open skies and one network area to reduce the cost of doing business in the region.

The board said that open skies attract regional tourism and improve consolidation of EAC exports to overseas markets such as horticulture.

According to the board, open skies are also critical in supporting the resilience and recovery of tourism, hospitality and transport sectors, which were highly impacted by …

Business people in the East African Community are now set to benefit through prompt resolution and intervention of issues disrupting trade, following the launch of the EAC-EABC Technical Working group (TWG).

Based in Arusha Tanzania, the Technical Working Group launched by the East African Community (EAC) and East African Business Council (EABC) – the umbrella body bringing together private sector associations in East Africa- is tasked with receiving and synthesizing issues received from the private sector at various levels and advise on appropriate solutions.

A statement by the EAC-EABC has revealed that the team will be chaired by EAC Director General for Customs and Trade, Kenneth Bagamuhunda and co-chaired by EABC CEO John Bosco Kalisa. It will also entail members from the national apex private sector associations in the EAC region.

The team will be responsible for following up on challenges disrupting intra-EAC trade raised by businesses and support their …