Nairobi roots for more trade deals as Kenya takes over EAC block

Nairobi has been handed a major boost to remain the region’s dominant trade partner after Kenya bagged the Secretary General’s post in the East African Community(EAC) block.

Kenya took over the leadership of the block  on Friday with the appointment   Peter Mathuki to the lucrative post.

This means that Nairobi can yet again indirectly take a commanding role in setting the agenda for the region’s business  policy priorities.

Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu was part of the Kenyan delegation that attended the inauguration of Mathuki in a colorful event held in Arusha.

Kananu hailed Mathuki’s appointment,noting that it gives him the right platform to lead the region’s economic block in chatting its way out of the hard-hitting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Dr Peter Mathuki’s appointment comes at a crucial and trying time when the world, Africa and the East Africa region is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to reduced trading, massive job losses, death and economic turmoil. I am confident that through your leadership and commitment,the  EAC will continue maintaining its advisory, partnership, economic, free movement of goods and services in the EAC region.

Kananu challenged the new SG to work on amicable plans  for the regions’ economic recovery and ways of maintaining the pace of Economic and commerce reforms which will create prosperity and integration in the region.

Mathuki’s appointment also means that Kenya is officially the lead partner for the customs union with President Uhuru Kenyatta being elected the new Chairperson for the bloc last month.

Dr. Mathuki who previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the East African Business Council (EABC), driving the Private Sector agenda in the EAC Region officially assumed the Secretary General’s office on Friday at a function attended by dignitaries from the EAC region.

The new development that favors Kenya means it must take charge of policies geared towards restoring confidence in the integration of the region following recent years of cracks to harmony.

At the top of concerns for the bloc is the promotion of trade which had become distressed under the strife of vagaries including the COVID-19 pandemic.

EAC’s business community represented by the East African Business Council (EABC) has for instance outlined policy priorities which have since been presented to the new Secretary General.

“As the industry leaders we have analyzed key trade and investment barriers, delaying East African businesses to take advantage of the EAC customs union and common market,” said John Rusagara, an EABC director who represented EAC Chairman Nick Nesbitt at a policy meeting held on Thursday.

The Kenyan delegation that attended the event  included; Acting  Nairobi County  Secretary, Dr Jairus Musumba, – Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Adan Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for East African Community & Regional Development,Senate Speaker, Kenneth Lusaka,Bungoma Senator; Moses Wetangula, Kajiado Governor, Joseph Ole Lenku and Nairobi County Director Intergovernmental Relations, Joyce Kinyanjui.

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