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EAC Secretariat boss pledges to work closely with the private sector in East Africa

The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki has pledged to work closely with the private sector in the region, adding that they were the key drivers for deeper integration.

“I want to assure you that I shall do all that is within my powers to ensure that the private sector plays its rightful role in the integration process,” said Mathuki.

Speaking at the Private Sector Dinner Roundtable held in Kigali, Rwanda, the Secretary General informed the CEO’s that it was the vision of the EAC Founding Fathers that the private sector would work together with the Community to promote the integration process by creating wealth and employment for the people of East Africa.

“I intend to go the extra mile to improve the working relationship between policymakers and the business community, through Public-Private sector dialogue initiatives,” said the Secretary General.

Mathuki affirmed that he believes in an enhanced conducive regional business policy environment that takes into account proposals and recommendations from the private sector, adding that this would build confidence in the region as an attractive investment destination and trade hub.

The Secretary General highlighted to the business community his priority areas that he believes should be addressed to promote the growth of the private sector in the region.  

Disclosing his areas of priority, the Secretary General said he will first create an enabling environment that supports the Customs Union and Common Market to function at their optimal levels to promote economic growth, and; establishing a Single Currency to be used throughout East Africa as envisaged under the East African Monetary Union Protocol which will, among other things, ease trade and the cost of doing business within the region.  

The SG further said he intends to put in place a Dispute Settlement Mechanism as a follow up to the ratification of the Customs Union Protocol in addition to a Trade Remedies Committee.

In addition, the Secretary General said he will work closely with Partner States and the private sector to reduce the cost of energy which said has a big impact on the competitiveness of products, and; rollout of the One Area Network to all Partner States to boost trade and interaction among EAC Citizens through affordable mobile calling and data tariffs.  

On a joint regional response to Covid-19, Mathuki called for joint measures between Partner States’ governments and the business community against the Covid-19 pandemic

The dinner round table was organized by the East African Business Council in partnership with the GIZ- BDI under the theme “Enhancing a Private Sector led Integration & Emerging Opportunities in East Africa.”

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