Thank you Isaac Sebakijje for summarising the opportunity for sustainable economic partnerships in EAC. I am a true believer and I remain hopeful.
I do feel that US citizens, besides President Obama suggesting the same, will get the message when human rights abuses are still prevalent in the many countries mentioned in your article.
Economists and investors worry when civil society is unsure about their own security, too much government involvement in business, corruption increasing, unstable currencies, long processes for approving business licenses, besides the unfriendly infrastructure in some countries etc.
How would you advise?
Angela Bukenya, Kathmandu
Dear Angela Bukenya,
Thanks for the comment and question. Here in East Africa and indeed the continent and other developing regions, the human rights concern is not new. It boils down to looking at a glass half empty or half full.
I am sure that in my lifetime I will never see an East Africa devoid of human rights abuses but I expect to see less as we progress. And we should never be silenced when they occur or condone them.
I am sure you know what goes on in China, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia etc… The US citizens do tremendous business with these countries regardless of human rights abuse reports. Statistics show that Africa has a long way to go but the continent is moving in the right direction, painfully slow but still moving.
Every country in East Africa is doing everything possible to streamline the business processes, invest in infrastructure and fight corruption. Their citizens are demanding it, the pressure is on and the demands will only get intense.
We should take comfort in knowing that the so called African strongmen are being replaced by strong institutions, one country at a time. These are just my opinions.
Isaac Sebakijje, Kampala
Reactions to Isaac Sebakijje’s commentary, “USA models sustainable economic partnership in East Africa”, (The New Times, July 15)