Tuesday, September 28, 2010

EAC to discuss regional industrialisation policy in Nairobi

ARUSHA, Tanzania, September 27, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)

The EAC will this week hold a Regional Validation Workshop on the proposed EAC Industrialisation Policy and Strategy in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop takes place Thursday 30 September at the Laico Regency Hotel.

It is expected to provide a platform for stakeholders from EAC Partner States including the private sector to brainstorm broadly on the Final Draft EAC Industrialisation Policy and Strategy and make specific recommendations on a number of key policy areas, including considerations for establishment of regional industries.

Also to be discussed at the workshop are key areas for industrial promotion and cooperation; infrastructure and necessary institutions to support efficient operations of regional industries; financial mechanisms to support investment in the regional industries; and an institutional framework for coordination and implementation of the recommendations.

The recommendations of the workshop will be incorporated into the Draft Policy and Strategy and thereafter the documents will be presented to the Council of Ministers for adoption.

The workshop follows an EAC-wide study by Log Associates, a consulting firm, whose key findings identified opportunities and informed major policy objectives.

The key policy thrust is to create framework conditions to support establishment of regional industries and to drive efforts to ensure balanced industrial development in the region. Some of the sectors considered as regional industries include: pharmaceutical manufacturing, agricultural machinery & equipment, iron & steel mills; computer & ICT manufacturing and mobile telephony.

Other key policy objectives include full mechanisation of agricultural production; reorientation of the regional manufacturing sector to embrace advanced technology and high value addition production; promotion of mining and mineral processing activities; and facilitation of programmes to upgrade Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Policy also aims to facilitate industrial land leases; foster development of the necessary human resources; create capacity for industrial research and development; and provide adequate industrial finance through public-private approaches and the development of a regional capital pool to facilitate development of priority regional industries.

Representatives of Government agencies concerned with industrialisation and trade, manufacturers, manufacturing associations, private sector associations, business organisations, academia and development partners are expected to attend the workshop.

Background/Additional Information

Industrial development is a key area of co-operation by Partner States as outlined in Article 79 and 80 of the Treaty; and Article 44 of the Common Market Protocol.

Cooperation in Industrial Development is aimed at contributing to the achievement of the Community’s broad objectives and more specifically, attainment of sustainable growth and development of the Partner States by promotion of a more balanced and self-sustaining industrial growth in the region.

To this end, the Partner States undertook to improve the competitiveness of the industrial sector so as to enhance the expansion of trade in industrial goods within the region as well as export of manufactured products from the EAC; to further develop an EAC Industrialisation Strategy that will promote linkages among industries through specialization and complementation, facilitate the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and ensure the establishment of capital & intermediate goods industries that take advantage of economies of scale arising from the integrated market. The development of these industries would ensure that there is overall improvement in the intra-EAC trade.

The EAC Heads of State, at its Sixth Extraordinary Meeting held in August 2008, gave further impetus and urgency to the development of industrial policy and strategy. The Summit called upon the Secretariat to urgently formulate an EAC Industrial and Investment Strategy supported by an effective institutional decision making framework with a view to promoting equitable industrial development in East Africa.

Further to the Summit directive, the Secretariat engaged Log Associates, to develop an EAC Industrial Development Strategy and Policy in accordance with the Terms of Reference approved by the Council at its 12th Meeting.

SOURCE: East African Community (EAC)