Two Rwandans are among 11 eminent private sector members who were unveiled yesterday in Nairobi, as the new ‘independent’ board of directors of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), a non-profit organisation established in 2010 to support regional integration and trade.
The new board members beat competition from over 500 East Africans who had applied to fill eight of the eleven director seats on a regional body that has funded the implementation of over 150 integration projects across the region.
Rosette Chantal Rugamba, the managing director of Songa Africa Ltd, and Anthony Masozera, the chief executive of the Burundi-based Econet Wireless, are the two Rwandans on the board that will be chaired by prominent Tanzanian businessman Ali Mufuruki.
Other members include Patrick Obath, the managing consultant of Edwardo and Associates; Duncan Onyango, CEO of Acumen Fund; Patricia Ithau, managing-director of Patricia Ithau Ltd; Earl Gast, an American independent consultant; and Jacqueline Lutaya, the managing-director of Kampala Accountancy Bureau.
TMEA chief executive Frank Matsaert said the new board is a reflection of a huge pool of talent in East Africa and draws from the leading business people in the region’s private sector.
Matsaert also announced that Pascal Lamy, the former head of the World Trade Organisation, has joined TMEA as a special advisor to the board of directors; he is one of three non East African members representing donor interests on the new board.
Mufuruki, who is the CEO of Dar es Salaam-based InfoTech Investment Group, said he was happy to lead a board of experienced industry professionals.
The new board has pledged to push management to ensure continuity of TMEA’s support to major regional projects such as elimination of non tariff barriers in order to facilitate intra-regional trade and creation of jobs for East African youths.
To achieve that, TMEA expects to spend between $500m and $700m in its next phase of which its investors have already committed over $150m.