EAST African Community (EAC) Secretary General Peter Mathuki has reaffirmed the bloc’s commitment to make the private sector a top priority in driving the regional integration agenda.
Speaking during a meeting with the President of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Paul Koyi, and Chief Executive Officer of Safer Power Limited, Dalmus Mbai, who had paid a him courtesy call, Dr Mathuki pledged to work closely with the private sector in the region, adding that they were the key drivers of the integration process.
“It is the vision of the Community to see the private sector drive the regional economy by creating wealth and employment for the people of East Africa. The Secretariat will always be at your disposal to help in any way we can, particularly in providing technical assistance,” assured the EAC boss on Monday evening.
Dr Mathuki emphasized that the private sector was the engine of regional integration and therefore, called for the private sector in the region to bring to the table the challenges the sector encounters.
He further informed his guests about plans to steer the EAC bloc to greater heights by spearheading EAC economic recovery from Covid-19 and repositioning the bloc into opportunities availed by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In the same vein, he urged the private sector in the region to work closely with the youth by creating mentorship programmes, which will not only give the youth experience and provide opportunities for selfemployment, but will also develop a succession plan for the business community.
In his rejoinder, TCCIA President Koyi said there was a need to prepare the private sector in the region so as to enable them to secure a competitive position in the AfCFTA.
“On behalf of the TCCIA, let me pledge my total commitment to work with you Secretary General as a champion of EAC integration in addressing challenges faced by the business community in the region,” said Mr Koyi.
On his part, Mr Mbai urged the Secretary General to revive the Secretary General’s CEOs Forum that provides a platform for the business community to present their concerns to the EAC, thereby ensuring a conducive business environment within the Community.