The ink has dried on the EAC Common Market Protocol and now it’s time for business.
The signing of the agreement by the five member states of the East African Community was no mean feat.
While there were hurdles at the beginning, reason seems to have triumphed over mistrust and now the ball is in the citizens of the bloc’s court.
There are many advantages in the common market and Rwandans should take this opportunity to spread their wings, pick up a few tips from their neighbours and impart their best practices in return.
Our business people may initially face some challenges as they face competition from cheaper Kenyan or Ugandan goods, but once all the barriers have been removed, they will learn to move with the flow.
Rwanda shares common borders with three of the other four members of the bloc, and with the inclusion of free movement of goods, services and capital, border-town traders stand to profit massively with new markets.
This is the time to start positioning ourselves with the aim of becoming a hub for the region, but we can only do so by cleaning up our services sector.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) should keep on drumming up this point in the business community; then we will be on the roll.