23 February 2014

East Africa: EABC Set to Build a Regional Business Centre in Arusha

Arusha — As part of strengthening their operations in Arusha, the East African Business Council (EABC) plans to construct a one-stop centre of regional bodies affiliated to it in Arusha.

The proposed facility will also include a training unit for business people, the EABC told East African Business Week.

The EABC's Executive Director, Andrew Luzze said the council has secured funds to put up the ultra-modern regional centre, pending availability of land, in Arusha region.

"Last week, we met the Arusha district/urban authorities over a request for a piece of land and were assured of one because already some areas have been demarcated for international and regional organizations," Luzze said.

Luzze said the Council has written to governments of all the five EAC partner states seeking land in their respective capitals for investment purposes. But Arusha remains the EABC preference because it is the EAC headquarters.

He said the proposed building would include EABC headquarters and will host several regional business organizations operating from different premises in Arusha and others from the rented offices of the Council.

These include; the East African Farmers' Federation (EAFF), Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC), East African Employers' Organization (EAEO), East African Women-in-Business (EAWiB) and the Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (FEAPM).

Meanwhile: the EABC is concerned with fears of a fragile situation in South Sudan following some reports that the ceasefire between the two warring parties had not been honoured to the letter.

This concern was raised Luzze, who stressed that peace is a key determinant of the uptake of business in the region, as it is all over the world.

"We expect some pressure on long-term peace negotiations in South Sudan as we now see foreign investors re-assessing their risk and should culminate in a slower incline than has been the case in the new nation which has already applied to join the EAC bloc," he emphasized.

South Sudan is a key market for exports from East Africa partner states, and any distortion will hamper all the business prospects. South Sudan has been contributing a lot in business growth in the region. It is also a market for products from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

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