COMMUNIQUÉ OF PRIVATE SECTOR ASSOCIATIONS IN THE EAC ON COVID-19 (NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS) COORDINATED BY THE EAST AFRICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL ON 26TH MARCH 2020.

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COMMUNIQUÉ OF PRIVATE SECTOR ASSOCIATIONS IN THE EAC ON COVID-19 (NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS) COORDINATED BY THE EAST AFRICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL ON 26TH MARCH 2020.

We, the Chief Executive Officers of National Private Sector Apex Body Associations in the EAC region held an online meeting today, 26th March 2020 on the preparedness and response measures against the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the EAC region.

Noting that Covid-19 pandemic has infected 28,41,12, 14 in the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda respectively as of 26th March 2020. As we remain optimistic that together we shall overcome this global pandemic, the EAC region has reported 4 cases of recovered patients and no reported cases of infection in the Republics of South Sudan and Burundi.

Acknowledging the paramount importance of protecting the health, and safety of the East African people, as the regional private sector we commit and join hands with the governments to ensure that the business community complies with the measures to protect the lives of our fellow citizens.

 

Further, noting the ongoing Covid-19 presents a significant challenge to EAC economies, disrupting global and regional value chains hence impacting business operations from supplies, production capacity, distribution channels and utilization of resources. We commit to remain resilient

Appreciating, the recent efforts by the EAC Council of Ministers geared towards facilitating the free movement of goods and services across the EAC Partner States, following the joint statement by Ministers Responsible for Health and EAC Affairs issued on 25th March 2020 on Covid-19 preparedness and response in the EAC region.

Further, we appreciate and acknowledge, the EAC Partner States for engaging and incorporating the private sector in the National Coordination Committee on Covid-19 in the Partner States.

Committing to partner in information sharing, learning, monitoring amongst ourselves and collaborate closely with the governments of the EAC Partner States on Covid-19.

 

Noting the importance of the growth of EAC industries, food security and competitiveness of the EAC bloc in light of the pandemic, we recommend as follows:

 

  1. The EAC to come up with a common Post Covid-19 recovery/rebound strategy for the region with a focus on intra-EAC trade and investments.
  2. The EAC Partner States to replicate and learn best practices from each other towards compacting the pandemic.
  1. The EAC region to ensure the borders remain fully operational and facilitate the free movement of goods and services across the EAC Partner States.
  2. The EAC Council of Ministers to hold meeting more frequently for information sharing and collaboration.
  3. As a prosperity measure, the EAC Partner States to regulate recurrent expenditures and focus on increasing budgetary allocation on health, social services and food security.
  1. The EAC to come up with practical measures aimed at enhancing regional value chains to reduce over-reliance on imports.
  2. Private Sector Associations to collaborate and share information on the short term and long-term impact of Covid-19 to inform the business Post Covid-19 recovery strategy.
  3. The EAC to ensure food security, promote agro-processing and urban farming to carter for food provision in our urban setups
  1. Urge development partners to support the EAC and private sector initiatives of combating the Covid-19 outbreak in the region and also initiate donor round tables to support priority areas.

 

In conclusion, we appreciate and salute Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) in their role in promoting trade facilitation for increased trade and investments in the EAC region.

 

Signed on this 26th Day of March 2020.

 

 

 

Mr. Stephen Ruzibiza

Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Federation- Rwanda (PSF).

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Godfrey Simbeye

Executive Director, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF).

 

 

Mr. Gideon Badagawa

Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

 

 

 

 Dr. Peter Mathuki             

CEO/ Executive Director, East African Business Council (EABC).

 

Mr. Denis Nshimirimana 

Secretary General, Federal Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture – Burundi (CFCIB).       

 

 

Ms. Carole Kariuki

Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

 

Mr. Hamad Hamad

Executive Director, Zanzibar Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).

 

 

Mr. Simon Deng

Secretary General, South Sudan Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (SSCCIA).