Kindly allow me comment on an interesting article published in one of Kenya’s Daily Newspapers, specifically alleging that Rwanda and Uganda have demanded for the zero rating of imported Cement into the EAC, in response to Kenya and Tanzania insistence that the CET remains unchanged at 35%.
The argument for zero rating is given as being a reduction of construction costs in the Region.
As most people would understand, business growth essentially targets as rapid expansion of a consumer base as possible, and two opposing strategies are (a) reduction of cost of production, and hence friendlier purchase prices by any manner of methods, and (b) growth of volumes produced and sold. Either way, it results in a lower variable cost factor for each item produced,
While the producer prices in the EAC are marginally higher than those in Egypt and South Africa, the suggestion, will lead to the strangulation of our domestic production of consumables.
More especially if it is proposed we import zero rated cement. We will export jobs and opportunities to these exporting countries. What a ludicrous suggestion this is!
The whole purpose of the EAC and other trading blocs is simply to expand opportunity for all those in the Bloc to trade and grow by creating a critical mass of a population/market in which these social-economic activities take place in.
Are these short-sighted policies working for us or for the Egyptians/South Africans?
Until Africans can shut out this hydra-headed monster of self-loathe and give value to themselves, very much like Japan, Korea, China have done, we shall forever be client states of other economic interests, condemned to be exploited for our human and natural material capital.
Consequently, I strongly protest this proposal.