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EAC and Investment Promotion & Private Sector Development

With the aim of harnessing the investment potential to promote economic growth and development in the region, the EAC Partner States have agreed to cooperate in the areas of Investment and Industrial Development. This cooperation seeks to attract investments into the region through efficient utilisation of established industries to harness the full production potential in the region. Furthermore, the EAC Treaty recognises the role of the private sector as one of the key stakeholders to realise a market-driven and people-centred integration. Providing an enabling environment for the private sector to take full advantage and accrue the benefits of regional integration is a priority for the community.


Support to Private Sector Associations and SMEs

The private sector is at the forefront of the EAC regional integration as enshrined in the EAC treaty. The integration process is people-centred as well as market-driven and as such, the trade agreements and policies are to be operationalised in a way that benefits businesses including SMEs through reduction of costs, customs procedures, facilitation of factor inputs to move. For this, the private sector needs to be involved in the integration process having the requisite knowledge and capacity to engage policy makers and shape the very decisions that affect their businesses.


Objective: To build the capacities of the private sector and foster cooperation with the EAC Secretariat for a more effective and informed advocacy.

Approach: SEAMPEC supports the private sector associations and their members as key stakeholders in the different areas of cooperation such as Trade in Services, Agro-Processing, AfCFTA and others. The interventions and support include:

  • Capacity building and training on key issues on regional integration.
  • Research as well as knowledge management and transfer through studies and policy briefs.
  • Communication of results and key initiatives of EAC regional integration and successes.
  • Development of proposals, recommendations and positions on key issues on regional integration.

Find more information on SEAMPEC here.

Investment Promotion for Women in Business

The EAC Treaty dedicates its entire Chapter 22 to the role of women in socio-economic development. It emphasises the necessity to promote women in business at the policy formulation and implementation levels and develop special training, education and skills development programmes for women in small, medium and large-scale enterprises to foster their equal participation in the economic development and regional integration process. EAC-GIZ specifically focuses on women in business and trade to help them overcome the barriers that still prevent women from exercising their full potential in business, for example by promoting networks of women in business and providing access to the information needed to do business across borders legally and lawfully in accordance with the regulations of the EAC Common Market Protocol.


Objective: Women-lead SMEs showcase business opportunities for cross-border trade, especially through the use of digital tools and e-commerce.

Approach: IIDEA and IRTF-funded projects support women in different business sectors in networking across borders to improve their investment opportunities and develop digital hubs and online marketplaces for women-owned micro and small businesses across East Africa. Training on the ITC requirements as well as on the EAC trade regimes and requirements for goods in intra-EAC trade are part of the approach.

Examples of supported projects:

  • The East African Women in Business Platform (EAWiBP) supports women in the moringa sector to cooperate through a newly created e-hub and undergo training in packaging, branding and standards compliance to improve their market access across East Africa.
  • Women in Technology (WITU) developed an online marketplace for women-owned micro and small businesses across East Africa, starting with Uganda and Kenya. The platform is a one-stop-shop for all information and support that is needed to expand into the new e-market plus all the important information on requirements for setting up a business in Uganda and Kenya. WITU cooperates closely with the respective authorities such as revenue and customs offices to provide the proper information on requirements for business creation as well as information on taxes and duties to be paid.

Find more information on IIDEA and IRTF as part of the SEAMPEC programme here.


East African Women in Business Platform have developed a project supported by IRTF to provide women in the Moringa business with the knowledge and skills to increase their competitiveness – 1,000 women are trained on the proper branding and packaging of their products and learn how they can get certification that their products are in line with national and East African standards
An approved standard curriculum for digital skills trainings and e-learning content for the private sector, public sector and civil society on topics that include cybersecurity, android mobile application development, big data analytics, machine
Research partnerships, capacity building and mentorship opportunities have been created through regional networking and industry-academia partnerships including cooperation agreements with IBM East Africa and Kiira Motors