The Ministry of East African Community Affairs will today in partnership with the Private Sector Federation (PSF) kick off awareness campaigns on business opportunities within the bloc.
Speaking at a news conference in Kigali, yesterday, Innocent Safari, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, said Rwandan businesses should be aware of untapped opportunities within the East African Community (EAC).
He said: “There are several business opportunities since we started the implementation of the customs union policy. Yet, most of our business people, are not aware of them.”
“For instance, most rural business people do not know that they can cross the border using their National Identity cards, others do not know that goods worth less than $5,000 do not require a certificate of origin within the region. We want to raise awareness among our people so that they can maximise benefits from integration.”
Outreach activities start today with the Southern Province, where officials from the ministry and those from the private sector are expected to meet with business people in the province to discuss opportunities in each district and those in the EAC region.
Stephen Ruzibiza, the chief executive officer for the Private Sector Federation said the outreach will also help to identify challenges facing businesses in each district so as to seek solutions.
He added: “We want to meet the business community and report on achievements and collect issues that impede trade in each district and seek solutions together.”
“We will also discuss EAC regional integration programmes and projects to see untapped opportunities that they can exploit. We will also discuss how PSF district representatives can sign memorandums of understanding with district authorities on empowerment modalities.”