The level of implementation of the agreed recommendations from the previous five Annual EAC Secretary General forums is still very low, EABC has said.
Speaking at the ongoing 6th Annual EAC Secretary General’s Forum in Nairobi, Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), Ms. Lilian Awinja noted that only 16% of the recommendations had been fully implemented, 43% partly implemented, 36% not implemented and 5% had no update at all.
“These figures are worrying and explains why this forum has been organized as a strategy forum such that the Dialogue Parties together with the EAC Secretary General brainstorm and agree on a clear path to the realization of the objectives of the Consultative Dialogue Framework as envisaged under Article 127(4) of the EAC Treaty.” She said.
The annual Forum is convened by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Regional Dialogue Committee (RDC) which is comprised of membership drawn from Partners States which include the Private Sector, Civil Society, Representatives of Government and regional Private Sector, Civil Society, Trade Union, Employer and Professional Associations/Bodies.
About 100 delegates are attending this year’s SG’s Forum and are drawn from the Partner States’ Private Sector Organizations (PSOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), professional bodies, Academia/Universities, Media, EAC Organs and Institutions, Development Partners and Other Interest Groups.
The first Forum took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in December, 2012, with the theme: “Review of Implementation of The EAC Common Market”; The Second was in Nairobi, Kenya in October, 2013 and themed “The EAC We Want”; The third was held in Entebbe September, 2014 under the theme “EAC: My Home, My Business”; The Fourth Forum was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in March 2016, under the theme “Good Governance and Constitutionalism in the East African Community”; and the fifth forum was held in June 2017 in Bujumbura, Burundi, under the theme: “15 Years of The EAC: Towards a Borderless Community”.
Since the adoption of the CDF, five Annual EAC Secretary General’s Forums have been held.
EABC has therefore called upon member states to speed up implementation of the agreements from previous forums to enable ease of doing business in the region.
Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko asserted that EABC has contributed towards monitoring and advocacy on elimination of NTBs, improved infrastructure network, and enhanced the competitiveness of firms in intra and extra-EAC trade.
“These efforts had tremendously contributed to reduction in the incidences of Non-Tariff Barriers.” He said.
The Forum aims to provide a platform for regular dialogue between the EAC Secretary General and the Private Sector, Civil Society and other interest groups on how to improve the EAC integration process.
The Forum is guided by the principles of cooperation for mutual benefit, trust, goodwill, active and constructive participation, inclusivity and respect for diverse views, among others.