Investment News

EAC and China sign framework agreement to boost trade and investment

By Winnie Osika

The East African Community (EAC) and China have signed an agreement to promote trade, investment and technical cooperation.

The framework agreement signed by EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera on behalf of the Community and Vice Minister for Commerce Jiang Yaoping on behalf of China, seeks to further open up opportunities for Sino-EAC investment and trade, which stood at $3.89 billion last year.

The agreement focuses on the promotion of commodity trade, exchange of visits by businesspeople from EAC and China, co-operation in investment, infrastructure development and human resource development and training.

“It also created a joint committee on economy, trade, investment and technical cooperation (JCET) as the implementation framework for the agreement,” says a statement released by EAC secretariat, Thursday.

EAC Council of Ministers chair who is also Burundi's minister for EAC Affairs Hafsa Mossi said she hoped to see a transformation of the EAC-China relationship from being more trade-related to more investment- centered .

She said it is through investments, especially value added investment that the region can engage in fair, balanced trade with the rest of the world.


World Bank and the African Union launch a joint initiative to lower the cost of sending money to and from Africa

By EA Trade Review Reporter

The World Bank jointly with the African Union has launched an online database to help Africans in the Diaspora to send money cheaply.

The online database will help increase transparency about prices and stimulate greater competition among service providers.

The database, Send Money Africa, is a years-in-the-making partnership between the Bank, the African Union Commission, and donors.

Through its interface, migrants can compare the cost that remittance service providers charge to send a particular amount to a given country.

“Send Money Africa will stimulate competition among the service providers and ultimately induce a reduction of the costs,” said Richard Cambridge, manager of the Africa Diaspora programme in the World Bank’s Africa Region.

“As a result, remittance senders and recipients will benefit from transparent, efficient, less costly remittance services.”

The Bank estimates that about 120 million people in Africa receive money from about 30 million relatives and friends who left their home country, for a total of US$ 40 billion a year.


USA and EAC start discussions on proposed trade and investment partnership


By EA Trade Review Reporter

EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera (centre) attended the talks

The United States of America (USA) has launched discussions with the East African Community (EAC) on a potential new trade and investment partnership between the two regions.

Last week in Arusha Tanzania, US Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso Lenhardt who is also accredited as the U.S. Ambassador to the EAC, opened the meeting a meeting that consisted of representatives of the five partner states.

US assistant Trade Representative for African Affairs, Florie Liser, led an interagency team of representatives from the Departments of State, Commerce, and Agriculture, as well as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in the day-long consultations.

“The possibility of a new trade and investment partnership between the East African Community and the United States has generated a high level of interest and excitement on both sides,” said Liser.

“This excitement is largely due to the recognition that greater trade and investment between the United States and the EAC has the potential to increase economic prosperity and create jobs in America as well as in the EAC member countries.”


Chevrolet celebrates 100 years by unveiling two new models

By Winnie Osika

Car manufacturing company Chevrolet has added two new models of their brands as they celebrate 100 years in the automobile industry.

The new seven seater Chevrolet Captiva goes for Ksh7.4 million while the Chevrolet cruze which has been designed to suit the young people is costing Ksh4.7 million.

General Motor East Africa (GMEA) managing director Ms Rita Kavashe says with the two new additions, GMEA is now looking forward to significantly grow volumes and occupy a more dominant position in the East African region.

“This year’s centennial is our opportunity to reflect on the passion and
emotion that has made Chevrolet what it is today,” says Ms Kavashe.

“It is also an important opportunity to look ahead as we build on the promise of the Chevrolet brand, to make it as relevant tomorrow as it has been for the past 100 years.”


Lake Tanganyika investment conference opens in Burundi next month


The East African Community (EAC) has organised the first-ever Lake Tanganyika Basin Development conference in Bujumbura, Burundi to explore investment potential in the region.

The conference themed unlocking the overflowing trade and investment opportunities in the basin that take place on November 29 and 29 is meant to harness the potential for trade, investment and socio-economic development in Lake Tanganyika Basin.

According to the organizers that include the Government of Burundi, he conference is expected to showcase investments opportunities in the Lake Tanganyika Basin for job creation and income generation, and improved economic performance in the region.

It will also strengthen regional integration through cross border and inter-regional business partnerships between and among the local business community and international businesses.

Increasing trade and investment relationships including Public-Private Partnerships in the EAC-SADC-COMESA region and the emerging markets, as well as increasing awareness and understanding on the importance of the Lake Tanganyika Basin as a shared trans-boundary natural resource/ecosystem are some of the key expected outcomes of the conference.


Do not slash aid to Africa, World Bank pleads with rich countries

By EA Trade Review Team

The World Bank has warned rich countries against considering cuts to development assistance at a time of growing fears over a potential global recession.

“The temptation is great when a crisis looms – as it does now – for rich countries to slash development assistance. This would be a grave mistake,” World Bank Vice President for Africa, Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili told investors Thursday in London.

Speaking at the first-ever African Investment Summit organized by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in partnership with the Financial Times, CNBC, Citigroup, Banco Espirito Santo, among others, Oby stressed that cutting aid would be a grave mistake “not because Africa is desperate for aid, but because the global economy is desperate to see a high-performing Africa.

An expansion in global prosperity and a resumption of global economic growth, she explained, really depends on Africa playing its role as a global growth pool and prospering as a robust market for global goods and services.


The European Union provides Euros 3.4 million to boost security in EAC

By EA Trade Review Team

The European Union (EU) has given 40 million Euros to boost security and help prevent and resolve conflicts in the East African region.

The world’s largest trading bloc is supporting regional economic communities (RECs) and regional mechanisms through AU with a financial envelope of 40 million Euros over a period of 44 months.

As a result, the African Union and the East African Community (EAC) have signed an agreement worth 3.4 million Euros for the implementation of the African peace and security architecture (APSA) in the region. The first phase of the support covers a period of one year.

Project monitoring unit coordinator of the African Union Commission Abdul Janha says the objective of the programme is to increase the RECs capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts.

"APSA aims to give the AU, the RECs and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) for conflict prevention, management and resolution (CPMR) necessary instruments to fulfill the tasks of CPMR in Africa as set out in the AU Constitutive Act and the Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council (PSC)," says Mr Janha.


Kenya hosts first-ever regional housing expo

By  Winnie Osika

A regional housing expo has opened in Nairobi amidst fears that demand for houses might go down due to the harsh economic conditions facing most countries in the East African Community (EAC).

An earlier report by Hass Consult had indicated that house prices had dropped in real terms between April and June 2011.

Asking prices cooled down as a result with an average rise of 1.9 per cent across all types of residential properties.

The report also indicated that the low increase in asking prices was attributed by buyers becoming more selective, with some holding off from purchasing as they searched for bargain buys while others were unwilling to pay higher prices. We have already started witnessing a significant swing in activity over the past few months with fewer inquiries coming through,” says Edward Ndirangu of Tweya Investments.

The expo comes at a time when government and private sector operators have intensified efforts aimed at improving on the national housing deficit

The East African Housing Expo that brings together stakeholders in the building and construction sector has opened its doors to interior designers, developers, financiers, property and real estate agents among other sector players at The Sarit Centre Exhibition Hall in Nairobi, Kenya.


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