EAC, August 20, 2013
“Intra EAC trade has more than doubled and trade with the rest of the World has grown more than 60%”, noted Amb. Sezibera
The Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera said no Country in history has been able to succeed and prosper by turning inward and keeping the “others” out. Those that tried to do so were inevitably forced to change tact quickly.
“If you cannot trade with your neighbor, you will trade your neighbour”, Africans failed to trade with each other and instead participated in trading each other as slaves, added Dr Sezibera.
Making a keynote address themed Regional Integration for Sustainable Development in the East African Community last evening at the 30th Anniversary of the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, the Secretary General noted that EAC was working hard to deal with barriers to intra EAC trade, and increasing the efficiencies of the Ports, removing literal and figurative barriers to trade and investing in the hard and soft infrastructure required to support the region’s growth.
“Intra EAC trade has more than doubled and trade with the rest of the World has grown more than 60%”, noted Amb. Sezibera. He reiterated that East Africa needs to continue to work to make sure movement and work in East Africa is hassle free for East Africans. “Common Market should allow people to use the market”, stated Amb. Sezibera.
On Climate Change and Food Insecurity, the EAC chief said that bloc strongly believes that a clean and healthy environment was a prerequisite for sustainable development. Amb. Sezibera underscored that the protection of environment was too important to be left only to local and national authorities. “It is and must continue to be an important regional, continental and global agenda”.
“I am pleased to inform you that EAC has developed a Post Rio+20 Plan of Action following the Rio+20 Summit held from 20 – 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro that provided the framework for post 2015 Millennium Development Goals”.
The representative of the Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr .Mukhisa Kituyi said it was important to note that East Africans were responsible for their own development.
He called upon the people in the region especially youth to take advantage of the several opportunities popping up as the region integrates deeper especially in the areas of trade.
At the occasion, Trademark East Africa (TMEA) CEO Mr. Frank Matsaert affirmed his organization was very much committed to supporting pragmatic solutions to challenges faced by the EAC in its integration agenda.
Notes to Editors
Consumer Unity and Trust Society Africa Resource Centre (CUTS ARC), Nairobi started as a non-governmental organization (NGO), and was registered in the year 2000, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Centre started its operations in the year 2003.
The setting up of the Centre was a necessity owing to the frequency at which many NGO’s in Africa were approaching CUTS for supporting areas of consumer protection, poverty reduction, trade development and economic policy, training and advocacy.
Another aim of CUTS ARC is to consolidate and expand the activities of South-South civil society cooperation.