Dr Mathuki says that last year six barriers were abolished and hopes that this and other factors like using the Identity Card for travel, would help raise the level of intra-regional trade in East Africa to at least 40% over the next five years.
amongst the East African Community member countries grew to 10.17 billion
dollars as of September 2022, showing an improvement from the year 2021 when
9.1 billion dollars was recorded.
records at the EAC Secretariat, intra-regional trade was recorded at 15 percent
of total trade by the region with the whole world, growing to 20 percent by
This is also
the highest percentage recorded since the revival of the EAC 22 years
Secretary General Peter Mathuki attributed the increase in intra-regional trade
to political goodwill among the members of the Summit of EAC Heads of State and
the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in the region amongst other
The year saw
the Heads of State focus on the elimination of non-tariff barriers that were
taking a toll on the intra-regional trade that affected the movement of goods
Ugandan products were severally banned from the Kenyan market between 2019 and
2022 and in late 2021 Uganda threatened retaliation, prompting fresh talks over
year, Rwanda announced it was reopening the border with Uganda after a 3-year
closure, while other trade hiccups were encountered between Rwanda and Burundi,
Tanzania and Kenya, and Uganda and South Sudan.
that last year six barriers were abolished and hopes that this and other
factors like using the Identity Card for travel, would help raise the level of
intra-regional trade in East Africa to at least 40% over the next five
//Cue in: “We are happy…
Cue out: …afford a passport.”//
NTBs have been cumulatively resolved since 2007. During the year, the
state agencies in charge of standards also completed the harmonization of the
standards of products in the region, making it easy for them to trade across
the records, EAC’s total trade with the rest of the world stood at 62 billion
dollars, meaning that there is still room for improvement in intra-EAC
is also taking advantage of the requirements of the African Continental Free
Trade Area, to step up best practices in the trade.
All the EAC
partner states have signed up to the treaty but only South Sudan is yet to
that, the region last year moved closure to start trading under the deal after
agreeing to and submitting the list of the 99 percent of the products that will
be liberalized or phased out.
According to him, there is no need to encourage more products so that the
region benefits from the opportunities of the AfCFTA.
“We must encourage…
Cue out: …It is possible.”//
achievement was the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo into the EAC,
expanding the total market size to about 300 million people and the size of the
economy to 300 billion dollars.
to admit Somalia also was launched when the country’s President made a personal
appeal at the heads of states summit. The Secretariat is this month
sending a verification mission to the Indian Ocean coastal country to assess
the suitability and preparedness for admission.
Ministers in charge of Trade and Finance had adopted 35 percent as the 4th Band
of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET), which means another group of products
were protected from competition from imports.
July 2022, imports of locally available goods into the region; such as meat,
furniture, and textiles, have been attracting a tariff of 35 percent. The move
aims at promoting local production, value addition, and industrialization,” said
On the East
African Monetary Union, plans are going on for the bloc to have a single
currency within the next four years.
that the Council of Ministers is expected to make a decision this year on the
location of the East African Monetary Institute, the precursor to the East
African Central Bank that will issue the single currency.
“The Monetary Union…
Cue out:…borderless East Africa.”//
African Business Council-EABC has hailed the show of commitment by the EAC
political leaders towards integration and facilitating trade, which, among
others, has led to the reduction in NTBs.
Chairperson, Angelina Ngalula, however, called on the presidents to put in place
the proposals that have been agreed to.
the East African Business Council Secretariat has planned to engage the Chair
of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State to enhance food security, strengthen
the integration of regional supply chains, eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers,
restrictions to the free movement of services, double taxation, open skies,
telecommunications and infrastructure development in order to boost the
expansion of businesses across EAC borders,” she says in the plans for
the EABC conducted a study on business and investment outlook which showed that
the rate of investments, operation, and performance of businesses in the EAC
bloc is recovering amid COVID-19 and is set to increase by 11% in 2023.
community is, however, worried about the continuing geopolitical crises like Russia/Ukraine, which are stifling trade devilment.
bank commodity prices outlook shows energy prices are expected to decline 11
percent in 2023 and Agriculture prices are projected to decline 5
EABC Secretariat will roll out high-level public-private dialogues to ensure
the Governments of EAC Partner States put in place frameworks to reduce the
effects of global disruptions on business, investment, and economies. Serving
our members is our first priority,” says EABC Chief Executive John Bosco