Doing business in the EAC

The East African Community (EAC) provides a good opportunity for trade and growth for its member states: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. In 2010, these countries established the East African Common Market Protocol, which aims to create a common market with free movement of people, goods, services and capital.

BEST-AC (now known as BEST-Dialogue) has supported two projects in line with the East African Community (EAC):
The Tanzania Association of Exporters (TANEXA) received support to study the impact of red-tape on regional trade in agricultural produce. Old regulation, relating to food security legislation dating back to pre-digital times, demanded exporters in Tanzania to apply for cumbersome permits to export agricultural produce across the East African region. Using findings from the research undertaken, TANEXA advocated for the removal of these outdated permits that caused inefficient delays in carrying out export orders. The project of deregulation and a more efficient food security monitoring was taken up by the USAID supported SERA program in 2012. The technical cooperation with TANEXA and government aims to make Tanzania more competitive and efficient as an agricultural exporter in the region and beyond.

Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture-Arusha (TCCIA-Arusha) approached BEST-AC about the lack of proper implementation of the protocol. In September 2011, BEST-AC (now BEST-D) approved a project to fund TCCIA-Arusha to evaluate Tanzania’s efforts to create an environment that attracts business within and across borders. The project mapped out the challenges and opportunities of establishing a common market.
The table below uses the Ease of Doing Business Index to compare the EAC members when it comes to trading across borders. 190 countries were ranked in the index.

Ranking: Ease of trading across borders

Country
20132014201520162017*
Burundi179175169160160
Kenya157156153107105
Rwanda16016216413187
Tanzania137139137180180
Uganda164164161141136
* The 2017 rankings for all economies are benchmarked to June 2016.
Source: Doing Business Index: Economy Rankings, World Bank