Members of the East African Business Council (EABC), the umbrella arm of the private sector in EAC has elected Consolata Ndayishyimiye, a Burundian entrepreneur, as its new Chairperson.
Ndayishyimiye also serves as president of Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burundi, and succeeds Rwanda’s Faustin Mbundu, a business strategist with shares in Rwanda Investment Group (RIG).
The council said in a statement that, alongside Ndayishyimiye, a new Board was elected consisting of a mixed membership from the five EAC member states.
The Board takes office at a time when EAC is implementing the common market protocol, which came into force on July 1, 2010, with negotiations towards the creation of a single East African currency by 2012, underway.
In her acceptance speech, Ndayishyimiye pledged to push the private sector towards the realisation of benefits accrued to EAC integration.
“I know the task ahead is not easy but with commitment, we shall ensure that the private sector takes full advantage of EAC integration,” she said in a statement.
“We are also aware that the business community in East Africa is at different levels of development and integration, and that we need to address some of the major social, political and economic challenges we face today.”
She added that EABC will serve as an effective agent to foster a competitive business driven by an export-led sustainable economy.
The outgoing Chairman, Faustin Mbundu, said that EABC has a greater role to play in ensuring that the interests of the private sector are catered for in all government policies, to ensure that the climate for doing business is conducive and attractive.