For the next one year, Kenya will chair the East African Business Council (EABC), the apex body for the private sector in the East African Community(EAC).
Kenya Private Sector Alliance ( Kepsa) Chairman Vimal Shah was over the weekend elected to chair the EABC in an exercise that also saw Francis Munywoki, The Standard Group’s Director, Value and Innovation appointed to the EABC board.
The 14th EABC Annual General Meeting that was held on Friday in Arusha, Tanzania also saw the appointment Kenya Association of Manufacturers Vice chair Jesi Bedi and former EABC CEO Agatha Nderitu. Uganda’s Olive Kigongo of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce was elected vice chairperson.
They will together with others from the five EAC member States lead the EABC team for a period of one year.
Top on the agenda for the chairman is the removal and prevention of non-tariff barriers that hinder the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the EAC region.
“My tenure will be focused on further implementation of the EABC Strategic Plan, and all key issues that will further the interests of the business community in the EAC region. Our key areas of advocacy include continued monitoring of the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), fast tracking the harmonisation of domestic taxes and the introduction of the EAC Single Tourist Visa,” Shah who replaced Uganda’s Gerald Ssendaula said. “Emergence of NTBs hinders the implementation of the Customs Union and the Common Market Protocol which the five countries have already signed and approved.”
Shah also called on EAC members to domesticate the airspace.
Deputy EAC Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure Dr Enos Bukuku decried the slow process of integration that he blamed on too many meetings whose decisions are never implemented.