The East African Community (EAC) reaffirmed its plans of developing the textile sector of East Africa. This was announced at the 20th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State in Arusha.
The Government of Rwanda has set up a multi-agency task force to initiate a training programme for the small and medium enterprises in the country as well as the local factories. The Government has urged the apparel and leather manufacturers to adopt cleaner production technologies.
Further on the same, Paul Kagame, New EAC Summit, Chair and Rwandan President, said that “Nothing should hold us back from achieving our regional goals in trade and other sectors of development.” He was speaking at Arusha International Conference Center in Tanzania.
Meanwhile Tanzania plans to increase its export of cotton to US $ 150 million by 2020, from the existing US $ 30 million. This was announced by Tanzania’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mary Mwanjelwa.
Kenya has been making good strides and currently has the largest apparel sector among EAC countries.
Notably, the Summit applauded the report sent by Council of Ministers (for the period from 23 February 2018 to 31 January 2019) for the progress made in the implementation of the programmes and the community projects.
The Summit directed the Council to review relevant policies and harmonise the framework for the importation of goods into the EAC within three months so as to support the growth of local industries.
Meanwhile, Museveni, outgoing EAC Summit Chair, said that business within EAC will grow with reduction in cost of power, transport and labour.
It is important to note that earlier EAC member states had agreed on eventual ban on import of used clothes and leather products with the intent of encouraging industrialisation and creating job opportunities.