MWANZA - Delegates attending the first Lake Victoria basin investment forum have called for the enhancement of information technology as a means of promoting investments in the East African Community (EAC).
The over 300 participants, comprising mainly investors made the recommendation during the closure of the forum in Mwanza, Tanzania yesterday.
During the conference, delegates were presented with the investment opportunities that the Lake Victoria basin offers, and how the lake, if fully exploited, can turn around the lives of the people in the region.
“Enhance the use of ICT in promoting investment and sharing information to improve marketing systems, management and trade,” they urged governments and the private sector.
Areas of discussion included; transport and Communication, Tourism, Agri-business and Fisheries, Trade and Industry, and Research and Development.
On the utilisation of the Lake, the officials called for investing in water resources management and utilization to ensure protection of the water bodies to prevent irreversible damage and as well as enhancing equity in water utilization.
They called on governments, the private Sector, and financial Institutions to develop a regional research and development policy that will guide coordination and harmonization of research and development activities.
This, the delegates added, would also facilitate linkage of research to industry and commercialize research outputs.
Taking into account the close to 40 million East Africans who live on the Lake Victoria basin, the participants called for an enabling policy environment for promoting public/private sector partnership (PPP) to stimulate aquaculture development.
The delegates, who included specialised investors in water transport, called for concerted efforts by jointly marketing and promoting regional tourism in the Lake Victoria Basin and the larger EAC region in order to spur local tourism and support local and national economies;
On effects of climate change on the Lake, participants requested that measures be put in place to adapt to climate variability and address various environmental challenges in the basin.