In a statement this week, East African Business Chief Executive Officer, Peter Mathuki said in order to accelerate economic growth and development in the region, the EABC urges all the EAC members, institutions and organs to continue maintaining a liberal stance towards the freedoms and rights as enshrined in the Common Market Protocol.
“The freedoms and rights are: free movement of goods, free movement of persons, free movement of labour and workers, right of establishment, right of residence, free movement of services and free movement of capital,” Mathuki said in response to Starehe lawmaker Joshua Jangua who called on Kenyans to attack foreign business people such as Tanzanians.
He said the EABC is appalled and condemns the reckless and xenophobic comments made by some Members of Parliament from the Republic of Kenya on East African traders in Kenya. The statements are unfortunate and unwarranted as they negate the spirit and gains of the EAC regional integration.
The statements are not in line with the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC and the EAC Common Market Protocol ratified by the Republic of Kenya, the EABC chief noted.
In 2017, Kenya’s exports to the EAC countries amounted to approximately U$ 1.1 billion with its exports to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi respectively accounting for 54.5 percent, 24.8 percent, 15.5 percent and 5.3 percent.
The total value of intra-EAC investments into Kenya amounted to U$25.2 million while total foreign direct investment inflows into Kenya amounted to U$ 717 million 2017 as per investments registered by Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest).
“The EAC citizens have the right to establish their business in any partner state and pursue economic activities in accordance with the national laws of the partner state, EAC Treaty, Protocols,” the statement added.
The EABC commends the Republic of Kenya for reiterating their commitment to the EAC integration through the statement issued by the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development and further urges all Partner States to continue adhering to operational principles of the Community, the statement noted.