Arusha, October 22, 2012
The Secretary General (SG) of the East African Community (EAC), Dr Richard Sezibera is set to meet with chief executive officers (CEOs) in Burundi in a meeting which will be hosted by the East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with TradeMark Africa (TMA). The breakfast meeting will be held on Monday, 22nd October 2012, from 0700- 1000hrs; at Club du LAC Tanganyika, Bujumbura.

The SG Regional CEOs’ Forum (SG CEO Forum) is a unique platform bringing together CEOs of regional businesses within the EAC. The main objective is to provide a platform for regular dialogue with the business community on how to improve the EAC integration process for business and trade. All partner states have had the breakfast meetings and have been able to discuss issues at length.

Mr. Andrew Luzze, Executive Director EABC said; “EABC is committed to providing a regional platform through which the business community can present their concerns to ensure a conducive Business environment within the East African Community.”

The specific Objectives of the meeting will be:

  • To receive a broad update of the status and progress of the EAC regional integration process.
  • To present a prioritized list of key challenges facing the business community in Burundi and proposals on how to address them
  • To agree with the Secretary General on an action plan to address them, including identifying quick wins with clear timelines and responsibility for action.

Some of the key issues to be discussed include:

  • Priorities in implementing a fully-fledged Customs Union
  • Harmonisation of domestic tax regimes
  • Priorities in implementing the Common Market (Services, Labour & Capital)
  • Lowering the cost of doing business through improved infrastructure

“We also seek consultations with key business leaders as we strive to ensure that the TradeMark Africa (TMA) programme is well positioned to support initiatives that address private sector needs in the EAC region such as: infrastructural systems; harmonization of tax regimes; harmonization of product standards; removal of NTBs; aspects of the common market protocol like movement of factors of production; and enhancing the capacity of SMEs in the region.” said Ms Lisa Karanja, Regional Director Private Sector & Civil Society Director, TradeMark Africa (TMA).

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.

Find out more about Trademark East Africa.

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.