The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) last week signed a grant agreement worth $1.8m with the t East African Business Council (EABC) to facilitate unlocking the potential and capacities of the private sector in the region.
In a statement released the council said that the four year grant will support EABC’s project entitled, “Deepening Private Sector Participation in East Africa’s Economic Integration” aimed at supporting on-going regional economic integration efforts to foster stronger growth and alleviate poverty in the region.
“The signing of the EABC Grant comes at an opportune time when the East Africa Community (EAC) Common Market has been launched. The free movement of capital, labour, goods and services will create a heavier demand on the private sector to produce quality goods and services,” the statement said.
In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Dr. Frannie Léautier ACBF’s Executive Secretary noted that the grant was offered in recognition of the important role played by EABC in representing the interests of the private sector.
“This not only influences the development of private sector policies, but also engages with the political leadership within the East Africa region. As a Foundation, we are cognizant of the fact that the East Africa Treaty places emphasis on private sector development as critical for the success of the integration process in Eastern Africa,” he is quoted saying.
Léautier also observed that the East Africa Community Private Sector Development Strategy (EAC-PSDS) provides an incentive framework for facilitating and promoting private sector development.
“It pays great emphasis on improving the business environment, and on the institutional and human capacity development necessary for increased trade and investment,” Léautier said.
In recognition of the support, Faustin Mbundu, the Chairman of EABC said the grant will increase the council’s capacity to meet their objective of expanding private sector participation in regional integration.
“Over the next four years, EABC will strive to develop both human and institutional capacities, by supporting the harmonization of business related policies, laws and regulations,” Mbundu said.
In addition EABC will support creating trade negotiation capacities among EABC members; enhancing corporate governance principles and practices, as well as participation in business and regional trade related fora, the Chairman said.
Established in 1991, ACBF was founded by African government and the international donor community.
The Foundation’s mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth, poverty reduction and good governance in Africa.