Private sector demands EAC involvement

April 30, 2009

, ARUSHA, Apr 30 – East African governments have been asked to actively involve the private sector in the integration process of the East African Community (EAC) to lessen the unnecessary bickering between partner States.

East African Business Council (EABC) Chairman Reginald Mengi complained that for a long time the States have been making decisions without involving the business community.

“For long politicians have been making policies expected to be implemented by the private sector  but now is time for the private sector to be part of the policy making process,” he said of EABC which is an apex body of business associations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

It aims to promote private sector\’s regional and global competitiveness in trade and investment.

Mr Mengi spoke at a press conference to brief the media on the deliberations of the EABC Executive Committee Meeting which also attended by EAC Secretary General Amb Juma Mwapachu.

He said they had received EABC request and were making progress through various EAC forums.

EABC had made a formal request to become an institution of the EAC in order to be EAC actively involve the private sector in formulating policies that affect the private sector.

“EABC is a current observer at EAC negotiations and it does not put the private sector at the heart of regional integration as stipulated in the EAC treaty,” Mr Mengi said.

The Heads of State Summit, last year, agreed in principle to formally recognize EABC as an EAC institution to give it a stronger say in policy negotiation issues.

The matter will be up for discussion in June.

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