Doing business: EAC to tackle obstacles
The East African Community (EAC) heads of state have promised investors in the region that infrastructure and energy sectors will be developed. The promise comes after the two were cited as the greatest barriers to doing business in the economic bloc.
The EAC was holding its first investment conference in Kigali to showcase investment opportunities to over 1,000 investors.
On the agenda of the three-day meeting is setting strategies for enhancing cross-border trade, which is impeded by delays in transportation of goods, energy shortages and bureaucratic problems for foreign investors to set up shop.
During the conference, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asked the East Africans to sacrifice if they are to attract investments.
The Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki said there is need to urgently increase investments in additional power production. He added that Kenya hopes to generate an extra 600 megawatts by 2030, mainly from geothermal sources.
Rwanda and Burundi joined the EAC in July 2007, but are yet to join the customs union. Initially, the bloc was made up of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The economic bloc now has a combined Gross Domestic Product of $44 billion. The economies of member countries have been growing at an average of 5 percent in the past few years.