EAC and IFAD seeks ways to improve trade in agriculture in East Africa

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By Fridah Nkibuga

The East African Community (EAC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are seeking ways to improve trade in agricultural commodities in the region.

During a one-day roundtable forum in Arusha, Tanzania the two explored ways to develop and support food trade within the EA Common Market under the EAC Food Security Action Plan.

Also under discussion was how to develop agriculture value chain and cross border trade, as well as accelerate expansion of processing and value addition especially of perishable products in the region.

EAC Secretariat called for support in improving and developing the dry lands of EAC and re- orientation of investment in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors to support market driven systems.


EAC leaders drum support for monetary union

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the member states of the East African Community (EAC) to speed up the adoption of a common currency for the region.

President Kenyatta said a single currency will assure faster economic growth for the region and called on the member countries to lay the necessary foundations for it to be achieved.

He said the benefits of the EAC union will be achieved when all commitments under agreed protocols are implemented.

“We must work diligently to achieve a sustainable macro-economic convergence in terms of inflation, fiscal policies and exchange rate stability” he said.


Single customs territory operations start in April in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda

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By Fridah Nkibuga

Exporters and importers of selected goods using the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to Kigali, Rwanda will be put under the single customs territory launched in October last year.

Sources in the three countries says importers and exporters of cigarettes, cement and neutral spirit originating from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda for trade within the three counties will be goods cleared through the customs using the single customs territory (SCT) system come April 1.

“Exporters of these commodities will have their customers lodge the import declaration forms in the importing partner states and pay relevant taxes first, to facilitate the export process,” says the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

KRA will then issue a road manifest i.e C2 against the import documents submitted electronically by the revenue authority of the respective importing country. Only one declaration document shall be made in the clearance of these products within the region”

Sources says exports from these three countries to Tanzania and Burundi that are yet to launch the single territory operations will be handled as per the current export procedures until further notice.


U.S upgrades trade hub in East Africa into trade and investment centre

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By Fridah Nkibuga

The United States of America has upgraded its trade hub based in Nairobi, Kenya into a trade and investment centre to cater for expanded role.

According to U.S Trade Representative Mike Froman, the centre will cater for expanded U.S regional trade programmes, spur private investment, and scale up business-to-business and association-to-association partnerships.

"In Tanzania, President Obama announced his Trade Africa initiative to support greater U.S.-Africa trade and investment, regional integration, and trade competitiveness – starting with the East African Community.,” says Mr Froman in a press statement.

“Trade Africa builds on and supports the work of the U.S.-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership (TIP).”

Froman said the U.S. and the EAC have agreed to launch formal negotiations on a Trade Facilitation Agreement with a view to concluding these negotiations as quickly as possible.


Visa enters partnership to boost tourism in EAC

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By Agencies

Global payments technology company Visa is collaborating with East African Tourism Platform (EATP) to boost tourists’ arrival in the East African region.

The year-long collaboration will focus on various initiatives across the region such as the sharing of best practices in the tourism and payments industries, promoting access to the electronic payments chain, and implementing stakeholder networking forums in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

It will also see the two organizations work closely to promote card spend in the region and provide insights into payment behaviour of visiting cardholders.

‘‘We continue to affirm our commitment to supporting the tourism sector as a key driver of economic development and wealth creation,” said Visa Head of Cross-Border Marketing for Sub-Saharan Africa Jodie Schorn

“.We believe this collaboration will streamline revenue collection and encourage more tourist spend in the region.’’

Through this collaboration, Visa will help boost electronic transactions in the tourism industry by providing strategic input on setting up secure online payments platforms, offering advice about planning and paying for travel with payment cards, and educating trade partners and consumers on the benefits of card payments.


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