Nairobi – Sept, 5th, 2012

East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with TradeMark Africa (TMA) launched the East African Professional Services Platform (EAPSP) at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

East African Platform for Professional services has been established as a forum for convening and representing the interests of the professional services sector at the regional level. The mission of the platform is to foster a single integrated and vibrant market for professional services in East Africa. The platform was born out of the recognition of the critical importance of developing professional services along with other services sectors, to harness development of the East African Economy.

Mr. Patrick Obath, Vice Chairperson, East African Business Council explained “Services are key inputs to the overall economy and have a significant effect on the investment climate. Services also contribute directly to job creation as well as, economic growth and development. In the East African Community (EAC), services contribution to Gross Domestic Product (DGP) is over 50%.”

The Platform therefore aims to bring professional services issues to the forefront of policy agenda of the East African community. The mission of the platform is to foster a single integrated and vibrant market for professional services in East Africa. In reaching this goal, the Platform takes a two pronged approach which includes both policy level support as well as business level support.

The specific functions of the platform include:

  • Gather and collating information on trade in professional services, including current regulations and regulatory barriers affecting trade in professional services, and in so doing, provide relevant, up to date information on policy issues to different stakeholders, including policy makers, regulatory bodies, professional associations and the wider business community.
  • Facilitating capacity building and technical support for professional associations and their respective regulatory bodies, including, but not limited to the area of mutual recognition agreements by pooling together technical expertise.
  • Creating networking opportunities for platform members to engage around common areas of focus and develop common policy positions that affect the professional services sector.
  • Facilitating the preparation and advocacy of policy positions.
  • Rolling out sensitization and advocacy campaigns on Professional Services issues.
  • Facilitating collaboration between platform members and relevant stakeholders.
  • Promoting business opportunities by facilitating intra-regional linkages/partnerships of professional services providers and developing support services for its members.

Ms Lisa Karanja, Regional Director Private Sector & Civil Society Director, TradeMark Africa (TMA) , said, “Trade in services is progressively becoming one of the major drivers of the global economy and is integral to the growth of the East African Community. On the whole the developing world is seeing a trend of the increased dominance of services sectors in their economies. The East African region is no exception, with services averaging 52% of GDP (gross domestic product) value added. A competitive regional market that creates jobs and reduces poverty requires inter alia, enhanced access to services to support developing trade, and advancements have been made with the signing of mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) in 2011. However, there are continued deficits in implementation and this platform is a great opportunity to spur the expansion of professional services in the region.’’

During the Launch, chair of the EAC council of ministers and minister for East African Community, Kenya Hon. Musa Sirma said, “The regional market for professional services offers many opportunities therefore enhancing trade and investment in the EAC. It has the capacity to increase market efficiency, through the benefits of economies of scale and competition, which in turn lead to innovation, lower costs and availability of quality services

Find out more about Trademark East Africa.

About EABC

East African Business Council (EABC) is the apex body of business associations of the Private Sector and Corporates from the 5 East African Countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the Private Sector in the integration process of the East African Community. Originally comprising members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, its membership was expanded after 2007 to include private sector from Burundi and Rwanda.

Currently, EABC has 57 Associations and 94 corporate Members. Amongst the associations are all the national Private Sector Apex Bodies; four manufacturers’ Associations; 5 Chambers of Commerce, 3 Employer Associations; 2 Women Associations, 2 Bankers Associations and the Confederation of Informal Sector Associations of East Africa. Given that the Secretariat is based in Arusha, EABC’s structure includes National Focal Points (NFPs) – who are all currently the national private sector apex bodies.

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For interviews contact :
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George Owuor Jr
Private Sector/Civil Society Programme Officer
TradeMark Africa
Phone: +254 (0) 711 680 619
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Dona Sava
Communications Manager
East Africa Business Council
Phone: +255 (0) 782 521 377
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Source: TradeMark Africa (TMA)


TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.