Dar-es-Salaam: Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, yesterday, reiterated the need for the region to position itself as a single destination for investment, adding that there are mechanisms in place to ensure its success.
Makuza was speaking, yesterday, during the 9th Africa Investment Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he represented President Paul Kagame.
“I would like to reaffirm the commitment by East African Community partner states to work together to achieve a single business destination,” he told the over 1,000 delegates.
In attendance were EAC Heads of State and key private sector players from across Africa and the Commonwealth.
The two-day forum, running under the theme; ‘Accelerating investment in East Africa and increasing access to a market of a billion people,’ is organised by the Commonwealth Business Council and the EAC.
Makuza added that the EAC has good practices and does not have to borrow from outside the region.
“There is a policy to support Small and Medium Enterprises in every partner state. We can adopt many other practices from each other,” the Prime Minister said.
Reacting to a question from a participant on the permanent revocation of Rwandatel’s mobile telephone licence, Makuza refuted reports that the absence of the telecom company would lead to a connectivity problem in the country.
The Prime minister noted that the EAC was committed to strongly fight corruption and generally create a conducive environment for doing business in the region.
Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, called on the financial institutions in EAC partner states to avail resources to local entrepreneurs seeking to establish businesses with a commitment to serve the regional market.
Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza, told investors that the region’s key investment opportunity lies in agriculture and industrial promotion, saying that the two sectors are not thoroughly tapped.
James Mulwana, a Ugandan investor, called on the Heads of State to develop Small and Medium Enterprises by contributing capital to the East African Development Bank (EADB).
The Heads of State will participate in the ninth extra-ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State which opens today.
Meanwhile, the incoming EAC Secretary General will be sworn in today.