18th EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition Concludes in Bujumbura, Burundi
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 11th December, 2017:
The 18th edition of the annual EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition themed Buy East African Medium and Small Enterprises’ (MSEs) products to build East Africa, came to an end in Bujumbura, Burundi on Sunday, 10th December, 2017.
The exhibition, which attracted 830 artisans from five Partner States – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and the host country Burundi – ended with a call by the government of Burundi government to the other EAC Partner States to strongly support the private and informal sector in the bloc.
Speaking during the event’s closing ceremony, Burundi’s Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Nkunzumwami Aimable, said there was need to deliberately support the growth of Jua Kali (informal sector) by giving the necessary and enabling policies that are conducive to enhance opportunities and returns on investment in the informal sector.
Mr. Aimable, who was representing the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, challenged the artisans not to wait for another Jua Kali exhibition opportunity in Burundi but to use this opportunity to network and open up stalls in Bujumbura and other parts of the country so that their products can be easily accessed in the country.
“Don’t just sit and wait for the annual exhibitions, venture out and explore opportunities available in all the Partner States”, the governments are ready to support you,” said the Minister to the participants.
He said the prevailing peace and security in Burundi was good for the East African citizens to invest or tour the country.
Addressing the same occasion, the EAC Director of Trade, Alhaj Rashid Kibowa, said the exhibition had offered a very good opportunity for the artisans to enhance competitiveness and increase employment, thereby accelerating the region’s sustainable economic growth and reducing poverty.
He acknowledged the role played by the informal sector in the economies of the Partner States in terms of employment creation and income generation.
Alhaj Kibowa said that the sector contributes to the resilience of the regional economy by promoting industrialization through the utilization of the available raw materials, and as a player in the backward and forward value chain linkages the big manufacturing firms.
Kibowa commended the Partner States and EAC Confederation of Informal Sector Organizations (CISO) for partnering with the Secretariat in organizing the annual exhibitions. He also commended the EAC Steering Committee for the successful preparations of the event.
The Deputy Patron of the CISO, Mr. Keli Kiilu rooted for the institutionalization of the EAC CISO/Jua Kali-Nguvu Kazi week in the Community in order to recognize the critical role the sector plays in the Partner State’s economies but also to dedicate time for CISO /Jua Kali-Nguvu Kazi activities during that period.
Meanwhile several dignitaries visited the EAC exhibition stand during the one –week-long event to learn about the regional integration agenda. Among them was the First Lady Rev. Denise Nkurunziza, who spoke fluent Kiswahili.
Others included the Secretary General of the Government, Hon. Philippe Nzobonariba; Hon. Felix Mpozeriniga, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Employment; Hon. Dr. Josiane Nijimbere, Minister of Public Health; Mr. Nduati Mwangi, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Industry; several government officials and Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Republic of Burundi.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified