President Kikwete Closes 3rd East African Investment Conference
East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 30 April 2010: His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Chairperson of the East African Community Heads of State Summit and President of the United Republic of Tanzania has officially closed the 3rd East African Investment Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
President Kikwete said the coming into force of the EAC Common Market Protocol in July 2010 will mark a significant milestone in advancing the EAC cooperation and integration agenda. The Common Market will enhance the position of the region as a premier investment destination. He cautioned that the Protocol was not an end in itself.
“We celebrate the coming into force of the Protocol not as an occasion but for what it implies, the Protocol is a facility that needs to be taken advantage of and it is meant to enhance intra-regional trade and investment and the competitiveness of the region,” noted President Kikwete.
The Chairperson of the Summit decried the low investment levels in the region, noting that in 2008, only 0.35% of the world’s flow of investment, which was about $753 billion came to East Africa. Developing countries as a whole attracted 36.6% of total global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The share of East Africa of the total FDI to developing countries was marginal at only 0.96%. With regard to stock of FDI, East Africa accounts for a mere 0.26% or $39.5 billion, of total world stock of FDI which stands at $9.6 trillion.
H.E. Kikiwete further noted that the EAC region has 0.9% of FDI stock of developing countries. “These numbers paint a gloomy picture of our region but East Africa is not hopeless, we are well endowed with natural resources and people who are capable of doing more and better than what is actually happening at the moment,” affirmed the President.
The Conference was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Rt Hon. Bernard Makuza; the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Rt. Hon. Eng. Raila Amolo Odinga; the 1st Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, His Excellency Dr. Yves Sahinguvu; and the host, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda in addition to over 1500 participants from the region and beyond.
The 3rd East African Investment Conference was held at the Commonwealth Speke Resort, Munyonyo from 27-30 April under the theme “EAC Common Market: The Preferred Investment Destination”. The Government of the Republic of Uganda hosted the Conference in collaboration with the East African Community Secretariat, the Investment Promotion Agencies of the EAC Partner States and the East African Business Council.
The three-day event also made key recommendations for the region’s extractive industries, its tourism, finance, infrastructure and energy sectors as well as proposals for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and Research and Development (R&D) initiatives among others.
A regional business dialogue between the EAC Heads of State and government and the business community crowned the Conference.