Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Only Private Sector Can Save EAC

The future of the East African Community (if any) lies in the private sector, not in politics being traded in Nairobi, Dar, Kampala, Bujumbura, Kigali, or Arusha. This fact is exemplified by the distinction with which politicians and businessmen are conducting their integration affairs. Regional companies are integrating their services with ease, but the political side is characterized by unending “consensus” meetings and epic court battles.

Picture this: East African cellphone companies just formed alliances without a single court battle or negative news in the media. Talks on amalgamating the three stock exchanges are calmly going on. But alas! Politicians in Kenya cannot even agree on who would represent their country in Arusha. Yet we expect the same political class to lay ground for economic integration.

EAC politicians need to learn one thing: that their role in establishing a thriving regional market does not go beyond shutting up and keeping off. Politicians must stop meddling and acting like they are doing something for the common man. Its only then that an individual living in Mbeya (Tanzania) could gain the confidence of forming beneficial relations with East Africans living as far as Gulu in Uganda or Garbatula in Kenya.


Louis said...

as a first step i think east africa
an africa pehaps should adopt a system of uniform commercial codes
as in the US


this will streamline business business practices and contracts across borders

coldtusker said...

Political integration is at least 20 years away - after the current crop of politicians are dead or out of power.

Economic integration is best handled by a Private/Public partnership BUT without nationalistic interests. This is not easy!

Open the borders, harmonise the taxes & let the goods flow i.e. de facto economic integration. That will eventually allow for de jure economic integration in a few years.

Kenyanomics said...

I agree with you guys. East Africans want to trade with each other, not creation of bureaucracies that would lord them from Arusha. All I, you, and any other Mwafika Mashariki want is to buy, sell, or work in any member country with minimal hustle.

But people like Museveni want to be the "first East African President," before anything else. What a pity!!

landry said...

you guys are totaly right. the politics have to stop now so that the economy can grow.

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