The Principal Secretary in the State Department of the East Africa Community, Dr. Kevit Desai, has announced that EAC member states will soon adopt the EAC pass. The pass is expected to ease the movement of East Africans was recommended during the EABC Trade Facilitation Forum held at the Taveta/Holili One-Stop Border Post.

Dr. Desai lauded the strong leadership of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Chair of EAC Heads of State Summit for bolstering the EAC regional integration agenda for businesses. He also called for collective efforts towards trade facilitation and value addition to boost manufacturing and urged East African businesses people to boldly tap into the markets of the DRC and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Speaking at the Forum, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO said, “Taveta/Holili One-Stop Border Post cleared 33,000 cargo trucks in 2021 a 73% increase from 19,000 in 2020.” He expounded that the increase in the volume of trade underscores the importance of eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers for the quick recovery and resilience of the EAC economies amid COVID-19.

Levies on transit and EAC originating goods (East African products) by the counties in Kenyan and re-testing of products by Bureaus of Standards are among other hurdles raised by the business leaders during the forum. The women cross-border traders recommended for more sensitization campaigns on the EAC Simplified Trade Regime, customs procedures and formation of clusters and consolidation of products to be deployed in order to ease trade.

The EABC Trade Facilitation Forum was attended by over 60 delegates. These composed of officials from the Ministry of EAC, trade facilitation agencies, importers, exporters, transporters & freight forwarders, Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) and women cross-border traders.