As the East African High Level Task Force (HLTF) draws near to clinching the East African Community regional Common Market protocol, local industries are optimistic about its enormous benefits.
“Firstly, industries will have a wide market of over 90 million people.” Nils Zirimwabaga the Project Coordinator of Inyange Industries said.
Adding: “Rwandan industries are highly challenged with the lack of raw materials, which once the (EAC) protocol comes into force, they will access from other EAC states.”
Through the EAC Common Market, uniform laws will apply in all partner states guaranteeing the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. This is to create a vibrant East African Community market that is expected to spur huge benefits for industries.
Zirimwabagabo, said the common market will also increase the potential customer base. He however said that there is need to adjust the industries’ production strategies in order to match competition from fairly industrialised countries such as Kenya and Uganda.
He revealed that Inyange, the biggest producer of diary products in Rwanda recently made announcements to expand its operations in order to increase production levels in a bid to reap from the wide regional market.
But there are arguments that the common market is to greatly benefit larger and industrialised economies. The Uganda business community is said to be wary of its Kenyan counterpart.
Uganda asked for another decade of protection of her mushrooming local industries from competitors from other East African partner states.
Prudence Sebahizi, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s Regional Integration Committee (RIC) too justified the industrialists’ hopefulness and concerns.