By Sammy Wekesa and Benard Mwendwa – Public Communication

Date: 9th June 2015

There is need to create a business friendly environment in order to open up the growing market in the East African region, despite the impediments and challenges that hamper the anticipated growth of the economy in the region.

The private sector feels that the potential of the regional economic growth has not been fully utilized due to challenges. There has been a concerted effort to have the region embrace the provisions of the Common Market protocol whose main objective was to accelerate economic growth and development of the partner states through the attainment of the free movement of goods, persons and labour which has so far yielded some positive results.

According to the Brookside Africa Chief operating officer Mr. Faiz Taib, who led the East African Legislative members (EALA), he outlined the challenges mostly in relation to the regional market.

Mr. Taib said a firm of this stature is expected to have established ready markets across the East African Region, especially having been in the industry for the last 22 years. This has not been the case despite the many efforts made by the investor, he stressed.

The Officer explained that the firm exports only 3% of its production compared to the same industries in the Ugandan market which export 80% of its Dairy Produce. This, the officer said was due to chain of bureaucracies in the transportation and legal provision needed for the target market.

The EALA members assured the company of their great support and promised to keenly see to it that these challenges are addressed within the provisions of the Treaty. The EALA, Kenya Chapter vice Chair Nancy Abysai said that a bill has been drafted on the standards, Quality and measurements and will be out for Public Participations before it’s presented in the floor of the regional parliament.

The EALA members later paid a courtesy call to the Widow of the Kenya Founding Father Mama Ngina Kenyatta at her rural Home in Gatundu, Kiambu County.

Mama Ngina congratulated the members for fast tracking what was started by the founding fathers and challenged them to make sure that the objectives of the Community are achieved. “Mzee Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere and Milton Obote had a great dream for East Africa which was not realised in their time but you can make it a reality” Mama Ngina said. She challenged communities to live in peace stating that as the only way the region would grow is by peaceful co-existence.

The first Lady H.E Margaret Kenyatta registered great appreciation for the great privilege to host the regional Law Makers.

Later the EALA Members presented the East African regional flag to the first family which was hosted immediately. This was to symbolically mark the Founding fathers of The East African Community.