Each of Partner State has developed a Private Sector Development Strategy. At the regional level, there is a Consultative Dialogue Framework for engagement of the private sector in the integration process. Secretary-General’s CEOs Forum is a result of the dialogue framework. It is a platform that allows business people from the region to interact with the Secretary-General on issues hindering trade and business in the region. In addition, the EAC has allied itself with key private sector organisations that seek to address concerns of the business community. These include the following:
East African Business Council
At the Community level, the East African Business Council (EABC) is the formal apex business body. It was established in 1997 to represent the interests of the region’s private sector in the EAC Regional Integration process.
EABC’s more specific objectives include the promotion and maintenance of a single market and investment area in East Africa and the maintenance of an institutionalised interaction with the EAC and its Partner States. EABC has a large membership in the region in various sectors including manufacturing, ICT, tourism, banking and media among others. Currently, it has an observer status in the EAC. www.eabc.info
East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
The East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is an organisation formed and owned by the three national Chambers, namely: the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Its main objective is to lobby for the creation of a conducive environment for cross-border trade and investment within the context of the East African Customs Union. www.eastafricanchamber.org
Eastern Africa Association
The Eastern Africa Association was established in 1964 to facilitate foreign investors’ participation in the economic development of Eastern Africa. It is headquartered in London and acts as a channel of communication between foreign investors and Eastern African Governments. It interprets the policies and objectives of Governments to its members and, in turn, explains the views and needs of investors, prospective investors and foreign businesses, generally to Governments. www.eaa-lon.co.uk
At the national level, a number of private sector associations have been established. These include; Chambre de Commerce et D’Industrie du Burundi, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the Rwanda Private Sector Federation, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation and the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda. These associations include addressing cross-cutting sectoral concerns and facilitating dialogue with their Governments.
A number of sector-specific associations have also been set up mainly to collect and disseminate information to members, provide training and marketing services, and lobby the Government on behalf of their members. Among the most influential of these associations are the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, the Confederation of Tanzania Industries and the Uganda Manufacturers Association.