The business community is pushing for a leading role in the East African Community (EAC) integration process, saying that involving the private sector would facilitate taking the ‘people centred’ regional integration to the grassroots.
“Leaders are moving the integration faster leaving the people who are supposed to benefit behind,” Gideon Badagawa, the Executive Director of Private Sector Foundation of Uganda told Business Times last week.
The business community suggests that the move would also help address some of the key challenges facing the community including Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) and increase the private sector’s role in implementing regional infrastructure projects.
“If we do not have cross border infrastructure, it is going to be difficult for the private sector to benefit,” Badagawa said.
Moreover, the Secretary General of EAC, Dr. Richard Sezibera, says that the region is currently developing a framework on public-private-partnerships, which is expected to increase private sector participation in infrastructural projects.
The idea follows a host of reports calling for the abolition of NTBs which hamper cross border trade said.