Nairobi, October 17, 2011
TradeMark East Africa ( TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) ) represented by the Chief Executive Officer, Frank Matsaert and the East African Business Council (EABC) represented by the Executive Director, Agatha Nderitu will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 24th October, 2011 at the Mt. Meru Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.
The MoU is a commitment by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to provide US$ 863,511 to EABC to strengthen EABC’s Institutional and Advocacy Capacity to enhance the Private Sector engagement in the East African Community (EAC) Regional Integration (RI) process. The fund is to be utilized from 2011 to 2013.
Special emphasis will be given in the following areas:
- Institutional Strengthening
- Policy Advocacy
- Communication and Knowledge Management
RI is envisioned to be driven by the private sector engagement and participation in national and regional policies development. The sector is the engine of economic growth and contributes over 75% to the GDP of East Africa. On the contrary, the integration process has been mired by low regional representation by the private sector, minimal awareness of the integration benefits, high costs of doing business and trading among others. More engagement of the private sector would witness an increase in trade in the region, opportunities for citizens, poverty reduction and enhance competition in the region.
EABC is the apex body of the private sector in the East African Region. The strategic focus for EABC is advocacy on behalf of the private sector on high-level regional as well as national cross-cutting issues, and coordination of the private sector’s engagement in the EAC RI process. However, EABC is challenged on several fronts that hinder full representation of the private sector needs at the EAC level. Some of the notable challenges include:
- Limited human resource
- Inadequate capacity to meet members needs and the wider business community in the EAC region
- Limited resources undermining EABC’s effective engagement on advocacy issues
With this support, the EAC private sector will be in a position to effectively engage on issues of concern such as discussions on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and World Trade Organisation (WTO). Advocacy work will now be informed with evidence based research for policy proposals and position papers.
Source: TradeMark East Africa (TMEA)
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) 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 East Africa (TMEA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.