EAC trade with Africa up by 25 per cent

EAST AFRICA: THE East African Community’s total trade with the African continent continued to increase with the value of trade worth 5.2 billion US dollars in quarter three last year representing 24.8 per cent of total trade.

The EAC Deputy Secretary-General Annette Ssemuwemba made the remarks at the CEO Roundtable Meeting on East African Integration and Economic Outlook 2024 organised by the East African Business Council. He said Trade with Africa grew by 8 per cent on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

“The intra-EAC trade was valued at 3.3 billion US dollars accounting for 15.7 per cent in quarter three last year having increased from 12.9 per cent in the corresponding quarter in 2022,” he said.

The panel session shared invaluable insights into the economic trajectory of the region, continent, and beyond. He stated that full admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the EAC creates new business opportunities.

She highlighted Tanzania is undertaking piloting and will soon announce the full implementation of One Network Area on Telecommunication.

The EABC Executive Director Mr John Bosco Kalisa stated that the share of IntraEAC trade was at 15 per cent in 2022 and the major intraEAC trade block is the costs of non-tariff barriers.

He stressed that governments of East African Countries’ partner states should fully implement commitments of the single customs territory to offer green lanes for EAC-originating goods.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chief Executive Officer Mr Anonty Mwangi called for the need to strengthen regional value chains integration, harmonisation of standards and joint initiatives to maximise natural resources such as hydropower and LNG in Tanzania make the EAC a centre of green manufacturing in the globe.

East Africa’s economic growth is projected to rise to 5.1 per cent this year and 5.7 per cent next year.

A similar outlook was given last month by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) said in its latest Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook (MEO) stressing that the growth will be supported by strong strategic investments to improve internal connectivity and deepen intra-regional trade.

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