The Secretary-General of the East African Community (EAC), Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, has said for the private sector to play a significant role in the Community’s industrialization the partner states need to do more by creating conducive conditions for them.
Amb. Mfumukeko made the remarks while addressing the media after meeting the Director of the UIA One Stop Centre, Mr. Joseph Kiggundu, who represented the acting Executive Director, Mr. Lawrence Byensi.
The Secretary-General situated his visit to UIA on the Fifth East African Community Development Strategy, adopted last years by the EAC Summit, which places the private sector as one of the top development priorities in the Community.
Amb. Mfumukeko said for the private sector to play that vital role in the Community’s industrialization and hence development the governments and EAC have to play an active role in providing a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive.
According to Amb. Mfumukeko, the Community’s choice of industrialization is motivated by the fact that there is high unemployment, especially of young people, which needs to be addressed.
The Secretary-General said the EAC has given itself a short time within which to transform the private sector, making sure investors who are already settled operate smoothly while new ones are supported to get started, also smoothly.
Amb. Mfumukeko stressed the need to ensure that both local and foreign investors are supported so that Uganda Investment Authority, and other sister IPAs, can participate actively in investment and development activities at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
On his part, UIA’s Joesph Kiggundu lauded Amb. Mfumukeko for the high profile visit which he said added a lot of value to the investment body. He said their talks focused on a number of crucial initiatives the EAC is championing, including sharing of information on investment and trade.
The Secretary-General also toured the One Stop Centre which provides many essential investment services (under one roof).
The EAC Industrialisation Policy sets the target of 25 percent of GDP for the manufacturing sector. Currently, the average is 10 percent.