Why EAC goods must meet global rules

Dar es Salaam. Poor quality and failure to meet international standards are some of the factors identified as causing almost a half of the products produced in East African states not to reach international markets, according to a trade expert.

Mr Rashid Kibowa, the East African Community (EAC) business director, said the challenge makes most of the products to fail to cross the boundaries of the region, that is, failing to compete in the international markets. “We need to strengthen ourselves to compete with other people in the world,” said Mr Kibowa.

He was speaking in Dar es Salaam during the granting of the “EAC Quality Awards 2022.”
He noted that this can also be viewed as a threat to losing business in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that all the members have recently ratified.

“There is a big need for entrepreneurs to produce products and expand their businesses, but most of them do not have the skills and knowledge that enable them to comply with international quality standards,” he added. He said there was a need to build the capacity of businessmen and entrepreneurs in all their product manufacturing processes to ensure that quality standards are not left behind.

Another way that would help producers compete with their African and international counterparts is to remove various barriers, including unnecessary taxes and difficult conditions for exporting products from one country to another, he said.

Standards and policy manager of the East African Business Council (EABC) Frank Dafa said that the community continues to remove obstacles that hold back businessmen and open up opportunities for them to benefit from the international markets. “In East Africa, we have taken various measures to set up systems to harmonize our laws to ensure that they do not become an obstacle to business,” he said.

The awards were given for the first time to motivate producers to realize the importance of providing quality products that will guarantee a good international market.

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