A regional business lobby has been taking a lead to advocate for liberalization of professional services across the EAC borders.
The body, East African Business Council (EABC) brought together key players from the business community, to share insights, which were instrumental in the formulation of the Mutual Recognition Agreements for Accountants, Architects, Engineers and Veterinaries.
The EABC Chairman Mr Nicholas Nesbitt spoke during the ongoing media tour in the region where he briefed them on the successes and challenges of the EAC Single Customs Territory and Mutual Recognition Agreements on professional services in the EAC.
In his remarks, the Chairman elaborated that the East African Business Council has been taking a lead to advocate for liberalization of professional services across the EAC borders.
“The Mutual Recognition Agreements have been facilitating the mobility of skills and professionals in the EAC region,” said Mr. Nesbitt.
He further mentioned challenges on Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) in the EAC such as: some Partner States have not liberalized some service sectors under the MRAs while others lack regulatory authorities to facilitate implementation of the MRAs.
“Tanzania has not liberalized the architectural and veterinary services while Kenya has not liberalized the veterinary services,” said Mr. Nesbitt.
He urged for the EAC Partner States to adopt the Regulatory Framework for MRAs (Annex VII of Common Market Protocol) in order to make the signed MRAs legally binding.
Among the recommendations given by the Chairperson include:
EAC Partner States to finalize and sign all pending MRAs.
He also called upon the EAC Partner States to liberalize all professional services where MRAs have been negotiated.
The Partner States have also been asked to finalize and adopt Regulations on Movement of Services and Services Suppliers, and to establish Regional Internship programs to encourage mobility of young professionals.
The chair also called for regional intra- and inter-professional platforms be established for implementation of MRAs.