Written by Carren Papai
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East Africa Community minister Musa Sirma during the 2nd Common Market Protocal (CMP) anniversary celebrations held at Malaba Primary School in Malaba town on Monday. [PHOTO|Isura Christopher|West Fm]
East Africa Community Minister Musa Sirma has guaranteed border residents of full implementation and adjustment of rules guiding the East Africa member States in a bid to improve business, protect them and enhance mutual correlation.
Speaking at Malaba Primary school of Teso North District during celebrations to mark two years of success since the launch of East Africa Common Market Protocol (CMP) Sirma revealed that implementations are underway to ensure business runs swiftly and to enhance easy connection of member states.
The minister said that the member States have agreed on some factors to be implemented that have already raised concerns.
He said there will be elimination of all forms of Non Tariff Barriers (NTB), reduction of roadblocks and elimination of time wasting weighbridges factors he said have led to decline in business.
Up to now, the partner states have agreed to reduce roadblocks in the region. The roadblocks in the Northern and Central Corridors will reduce from 36 to 5 in Kenya, 30 to 15 in the United Republic of Tanzania, while Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi will abolish completely the roadblocks.
Sirma also confirmed that border posts will be constructed to operate on a 24 hour basis a step he expressed optimism will boost business and easy clearance of goods and control movements.
He assured border residents that screening machines will be soon introduced at the Kenyan border to eliminate harassment of residents crossing the border by officers stationed there.
“The main objective of the common market Protocal is to accelerate economic growth and development through the attainment of free movement of goods, services, labour ,the right to establish business in any of the partner States and the right of residence .It will be bad if people will not be able to conduct business freely due to frequent harassment by police officers. I want the OCPD to check on that and let residents conduct business without worries and move freely to Uganda and other East Africa Countries,’’ said Sirma.
Labour Assistant minister Sospeter Ojaamong (L) with EAC minister Musa Sirma.
He was accompanied by Lobour assistant Minister Sopster Ojaamong who urged him to make sure that border people are protected to run their business properly.
Present in the function was West Fm presenters who worked in conjunction with the East Africa Community to create awareness of the Common Market Protocol.
The school was filled with hundreds of anxious residents who wanted to have glimpse on what was transpiring immediately the crew arrived in style from Busia through Adungosi to Malaba.
They benefited from plenty of presents including branded T-shirts among other goodies. They open heartedly lauded the Station for highlighting their plight and congratulated the presenters who were present.
The station was represented by Mr. Robert Ilukol (Roboh the quarterman), Mr. Moses Makeni (Fulungenge), Mr. Collins Asiligwa (Dj Ras Collo), Ms. Sally Kwendo (Sally K), Mr. Christopher Isura (Isura Sungura) Frankline Bwire and Papai Carren.
A section of residents from Malaba town and its environs who turned up for the 2nd CMP anniversary celebrations at Malaba Primary School.
The Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market entered into force on July 1 2010, following ratification by all the five Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
It provides for “Four Freedoms”, namely the free movement of goods; labour; services; and capital, which will significantly boost trade and investments and make the region more productive and prosperous.
As a result of the Common Market Protocol (CMP) under the free movement of goods, the EAC countries EAC countries sustained an average five per cent GDP growth against the world’s average of three per cent, FDI inflows increased to $ 1.7billion in 2011 from $683 million in 2005. Manufacturing sector was the key driver.
Kenya’s exports to the East African Community grew by 34 per cent last year, exports to Uganda grew the most, from Ksh52 billion ($626 million) to Ksh76 billion ($915 million) — a 47 per cent rise.
Kenya’s exports to Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi grew by 28.7 per cent, 25.7 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively. The growth in export earnings was driven by a weak shilling and high global commodity prices.
Kenya’s export earnings grew from $5 billion (Ksh409.8 billion) in 2010 to $6.1 billion (Ksh512 billion) last year.
On the other hand, imports from Burundi grew by 225 per cent — the largest margin, rising from Ksh144 million ($1.7 million) to Ksh468 million ($5.6 million).
Imports from Tanzania stood at Ksh15.6 billion ($187.6 million), having grown by 48.5 per cent compared with 2010. The country remains Kenya’s main source of imports within the EAC bloc. Imports from Uganda slowed down, growing by 12.11 per cent compared with 108 per cent in 2010
Imports from Rwanda dropped marginally from Ksh430 million ($5.1 million) to Ksh 422 million ($5 million).
Overall, the four East African community partners — Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi accounted for about 55 per cent of all exports to Africa and about 27 per cent of Kenya’s total export.
EAC member countries contributed to 2.8 per cent of Kenya’s total imports. EAC trade and investments had registered average annual growth rates of 20-30 per cent for all the EAC Partner States and the international trade and foreign direct investments continued to grow accumulating to over 60 per cent for the years 2008-2011-EAC Secretariat
All performance indicators depicted significant growth trends, including Foreign Direct Investment inflows, which increased from USD 683 million in 2005 to USD 1.7 billion in 2011.
Kenya was the main destination of Rwandan exports with a share of 78.5 percent of the total exports to the EAC region, followed by Burundi and Uganda, at 10.8 percent and 9.3 percent.
Kenya which was the first EAC country to scrap import duty on goods from other partner states, the customs collections hit Sh223.4 billion in 2010/11 financial year, up from Sh111 billion in 2004 (the year before the launch of EAC custom union).
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