KAMPALA – The Minister for East African Community Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga has committed to pushing for policies and initiatives that will help to further bolsters economic ties between regional trading partners.
Kadaga was responding to growing uncertainty with Ugandan entrepreneurs questioning the willingness of the political leadership of the EAC to make the region one trading bloc and investment destination, as challenges to cross-border trade persist.
“The government of Uganda recognizes the importance of regional integration and trade, and is committed to promoting policies and initiatives that will help to further strengthen economic ties between our countries,” said Kadaga before launching the 14th East African Procurement Forum and Business Expo at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds from the 23rd to the 26th.
The 14th East African Procurement Forum and Business Expo will bring together all business partners in the region, with the main aim being to share experiences in procurement systems and how the sector can be improved.
The four-day expo will be hosted by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority, PPDA, and organized by the marketing company, FIPRO.
FIPRO Chief Executive Officer, Moses Agaba, urged the procurement authorities in the seven EAC countries, to use the forum and the expo to iron out the challenges presented by the investors.
This, he says will be a big boost to the private sector and the indigenous economies as a whole.
The Chief Executive Officer, PPDA, Benson Turamye said if all the countries abided by the EAC protocols, there would be no such challenges.
According to him, the barriers being put in place are illegal or a violation of regional laws, adding that even the EAC secretariat has not been keen on promoting such regional initiatives.
Mr. Turamye said the forum provides participants with an opportunity to share experiences, opportunities, and challenges regarding public procurement in the region and come up with tangible resolutions to improve procurement systems and regulatory frameworks.
He added that this year, they are bringing a new menu to the forum, the Business Expo 2022, which intends to bring together investors from the region and other countries to showcase different business ideas.
For the first time ever, this gathering will include the East African Business Expo, which is expected to attract over 500 business exhibitors seeking to do business with government institutions and international agencies in the EAC.
The four-day business expo, running alongside the forum, will include exhibitions, panel sessions, networking events, and cultural exchanges, all aimed at helping businesses network, connect, and grow their market in the East African region.
Originally scheduled for November 2022, the 14th EAPF was moved to March 2023 due to Ministry of Health guidance on the Ebola virus situation, which has since been contained.
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