Since the Common Market Protocol (CMP) came into force in 2010, the EAC has become one of the continent’s most integrated regions. Great progress was made towards achieving the region’s integration goals in the services sector, both at national and regional levels, with exportation services growing by 46.6%. However, due to new emerging barriers, including restrictions of laws and regulations and business environment obstacles across a range of service sectors, the implementation of the commitments slowed down.
The first EAC Trade in Services (TiS) Strategy 2023–2033 aims to enhance the service sector in the region and increase intra-EAC trade in services and exports of services to the continent and the world.
EAC Partner States made commitments to liberalise a total of 136 sub-sectors in seven priority sectors: business, communications, distribution, education, finance, transport, and tourism and travel. The selection of the sectors was based mainly on their role as an intermediate input across the region’s economy, their degree of tradability, the extent to which they provide employment, and their prioritisation under the AfCFTA.
In addition to these sectors, five cross-cutting interventions have also been prioritised:
- Reinforce the (public and private) institutional framework for service sector development.
- Generate information to drive service policies and business strategies.
- Build the capacity of service sector firms to enhance export capability and competitiveness.
- Reinvigorate and broaden service integration and regulatory reform.
- Address horizontal restrictions.
Supported by the EAC-GIZ programme SEAMPEC II, the EAC developed an implementation plan for the EAC TiS Strategy with concrete outputs, key performance indicators, time frames, responsible institutions and stakeholders, budgets, and sources of funding.
The implementation of the strategy has already yielded tangible results, such as:
- Adaption of Minimum Standards for Tour Operators, Travel Agents, and Tour Guides
- Development of the EAC Tourism Barometer
- Increased private sector participation in the Trade in Services liberalisation process
- Advancement of the One Network Area in all EAC Partner States
- Development of roadmaps for Mutual Recognition Agreements
Find more information on the EAC Trade in Services Strategy here.
Find more information on SEAMPEC II here.