Regional Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the five partner states of the East African Community (EAC) have undertaken to address business bottlenecks in the region through the EAC Regional Private Sector forum due in Kampala on Wednesday.
Speaking to Sunday Times, the EAC head of Communications, Owora Othieno, said the forum was expected to discuss among others, recommendations from national forums held in the five Partner States followed by a plenary discussion where members of the private sector will input and identify key issues to be taken forward by the Secretary General of the EAC.
He added that the main objective of the forum was to provide a platform for regular dialogue between the EAC Secretary General and the business community on how to improve the EAC integration process and business operating environment in the EAC in order to increase economic growth and development of the region.
Other issues expected to be discussed will be matters affecting business in the EAC region while priority issues will be identified for presentation to President Yoweri Museveni, Chair of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State.
Furthermore, a Public Private Dialogue forum will be prepared with recommendations and a plan of action as per agreed areas and a mechanism of follow up on implementation is set up.
Recently, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Jesca Eriyo, underlined the critical importance of the civil society and private sector for the successful implementation of the Common Market Protocol.
"Civil society and the private sector must play fundamental roles in the successful implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol," she stated at the first EAC Secretary General's Forum on Common Market Implementation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 10 December 2012.
"Civil society and private sector organizations have proved effective in the deepening and widening regional integration process," she said, adding that they represent the needs of marginalized groups and multi-sectors and also have access to a very wide and large community.
She told the more than 100 representatives of the private sector, civil society, academics, researchers, governments and policy makers that the forum would help address challenges in the implementation of the Common Market Protocol providing a platform through which the civil society and private sector would channel feedback.
The EAC Secretary General CEO Forum which comprises of 5 National Fora and one regional forum held annually, is hosted by the EAC Secretariat in partnership with East African Business Council (EABC) and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).