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East Africa urged to embrace export-driven economies

East Africa urged to embrace export-driven economies

A panel including prominent figures discuss the future of East Africa’s trade at the G77 SUMMIT (Courtesy photo)

In a recent high-profile summit organized on the sidelines of the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the 3rd South Summit (G77), Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), called upon East African nations to shift towards export-driven economies for regional development.

Rwabwogo, also serving as the Senior Presidential Advisor-Special Duties, emphasized the importance of adopting strategies that focus on boosting exports to transform the region economically. The summit, featuring a panel discussion on growing regional economies, included prominent figures such as Humphrey Nzeyi, Chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Sylivia Mulinge, CEO of MTN Uganda, Kudakwashe Matereke, Regional Chief Operating Officer of AFREXIM Bank, and Dr. Thangvel Palnivel from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Uganda).

During the panel discussion, Rwabwogo shed light on the initiatives undertaken by PACEID to assist Uganda in achieving its ambitious $6 billion export earnings target by 2028. PACEID’s focus areas include market research, standards and compliance, export infrastructure, and export financing.

Rwabwogo emphasized the role of market research in aligning products with international standards and targeting niche markets to enhance export earnings. He highlighted the importance of collaboration between the private and public sectors in Uganda’s trade and investment and urged stakeholders to actively participate in driving transformative trade and investment ideas discussed at the summit.

The panelists addressed various aspects of trade and investment, emphasizing the need for harmonized trade policies, streamlined regulations, and enhanced infrastructure to facilitate seamless trade flows among East African member states. The discussions also spotlighted agriculture, manufacturing, and services as key sectors with significant potential for growth and development in the region.

The East Africa Trade and Investment Forum, held under the theme “Deepening Cooperation in Trade, Tourism, and Investment for Shared Global Affluence,” provided a platform for policymakers, business leaders, and investors to exchange ideas and explore potential partnerships. The forum, attended by over 500 delegates from 19 countries, featured addresses from notable figures, including the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs Rt Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga and Vice President Her Excellency Jesca Alupo.

The forum’s discussions aligned with EAC policies aimed at making the region an attractive destination for trade and investment, including initiatives such as the Customs Union and Common Mark, as highlighted by EAC Deputy Secretary General – Customs, Trade, and Monetary Affairs Ms. Annette Ssemuwemba Mutaawe. Overall, the summit provided a comprehensive platform for stakeholders to explore avenues for collaboration, with a focus on driving economic growth through export-oriented strategies.

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