EABC launches study on investment opportunities

THE East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with Sequa GmbH under the Business Scouts Fund and GIZ Business Scouts for Development has launched a study profiling investment opportunities in selected agricultural value chains in the EAC.

The study aims to address the region’s low foreign direct investment in agriculture, its reliance on food imports, and its vulnerability to global shocks.

The findings of the study and investment opportunities were revealed during the webinar on profiling investment opportunities in selected value chains in the EAC, held here at the weekend.

The study shows Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the EAC region increased marginally between 2015 and 2021, primarily driven by investments from China and India, but the majority of the FDI has been directed towards the manufacturing, construction, and services sectors, rather than the agricultural sector.

In his remarks during the webinar, EABC Chief Executive Officer, John Bosco Kalisa, expressed gratitude to the GIZ Business Scouts for Development and Sequa GmbH for their partnership in conducting and validating the study.

He further emphasised the importance of scaling up the agricultural sector’s performance to boost intra-regional trade and investment.

“There’s also a need to build agricultural resilience in the region, particularly in response to global crises,” suggested the EABC boss.

He also recommended the use of a policy mix to provide agricultural insurance, develop storage facilities, and address labour migration to urban areas.

On his part, Michael Kleinbub from GIZ Business Scouts for Development commended the efforts of the business community in addressing food security issues.

He pledged the support of the Business Scouts for Development in facilitating engagements through programmes and public-private partnerships as well as providing financial and technical support to companies investing sustainably in developing or emerging markets.

The study reveals significant potential for developing value chains in Wheat Grains, Edible oil, Fertilisers, Tubers, and Leguminous plants within the EAC.

It is however reported that the sector’s performance is hindered by challenges such as low production and productivity, technology development and transfer, post-harvest management and storage, trade and marketing, and policy-related issues.

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