Regional council woos local business community

BY KABONA ESIARA

A delegation from the East African Business Council (EABC) Secretariat is in the country to woo Rwandan investors join the regional body.
EABC unites the business community in the East African bloc.  The body is spearheading campaigns to make EAC a single trade and investment area that is truly competitive in the multilateral trading regime.
The team is also expected to visit Burundi on Thursday in a continuing campaign to boost EABC membership.
A statement from EAC Secretariat in Arusha stated that the EABC delegation will hold discussions with the private sector in Rwanda and Burundi.
Executive Director Charles Mbogori and Communications/Marketing Specialist Bobi Odiko are leading the delegation.
In Kigali, they are expected to meet representatives of the corporate companies and other private sector bodies under the Private Sector Federation (PSF).
In Bujumbura, EABC officials will pay a courtesy call on the Burundi Minister of Trade and Industry Madame Estella Nicayenzi and meet the business community.
This is the second time EABC officials are visiting the two countries.
Last September, EABC led by then Chairman, Abid Alam held discussions with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Burundi counterpart, President Pierre Nkurunziza.
EABC has prior to the accession of the two nations into the EAC, signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with PSF  and Burundi’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Handicraft (CCIB).
The protocol allows the private sector bodies in both countries to access services of EABC which include participation in working groups and campaigns, regular first hand information on EABC issues and top level visits.
 Two months ago, EABC changed its constitution to accommodate the Kigali and Bujumbura associations and formally become its members. 
The visit by EABC delegation comes a week after the organization launched the second Business Climate Index Survey (BCI) in the region.  The study excluded Rwanda and Burundi but the two countries will be included next year.
By joining EAC, Rwanda and Burundi are expected to increase trading in the region, harmonize the common external tariffs and promote trans-boundary projects. Some of them include environment, infrastructure and energy.
Burundi’s geographical location and proximity to the DR Congo will also serve as opportune and good for the interests of East Africa.   It is further anticipated that peace will be enhanced in the region.

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