The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Arusha chapter has launched a study that seeks to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the East African Common Market Protocol to improve Tanzania business performance and competitiveness.
The chairman of TCCIA-Arusha Adolf Olomi said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the project would look at challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the East African Common Market Protocol and Tanzania's role in creating an attractive environment for increased private sector activity within and across the borders.
"We are looking at what can be done to increase gains while minimizing losses from the arrangement," he said, adding that the study would develop a comprehensive policy paper that could spur Tanzania's greater and effective participation in the implementation of the market protocol.
Olomi disclosed that BEST-AC has financed the project and is offering technical assistance to ensure the project is successful.
BEST-AC assists business membership organisations create a better business environment with grants, capacity building and technical assistance so as to enable successful dialogue with the government.
He said the research would also scrutinise the comparative advantages that Tanzania needs to capitalise on and point out opportunities available for the country in effectively facilitating development of the EAC economies.
"It will identify opportunities and challenges available for Tanzania in the common market arrangement, asses the country's quality of business environment for international trading competitiveness and identify key sectors important facilitators of integration and cooperation," Olomi said.
The study will gather factual information from stakeholders that can facilitate Tanzania in offering practical effective interventions in the integration process of the EAC Common Market, analyse policy challenges for implementation and identify key sectors important for integration and cooperation in order to come up with the policy brief.
Despite the existence of the protocol since 2010, few enterprises were aware of its content, Olomi said.
"The purpose of the protocol is to lift trade obstacles and focus on greater integration as a common market but, unfortunately, some organisations and business sectors don't have a common understanding of what their role should be and thus fail to benefit," he said.
Consultants hired by TCCIA yesterday shared an inception report with a cross- section of stakeholders who are expected to provide information to the team.
Round Table Africa is providing expertise, advice, and specialist skills to TCCIA Arusha with the aim of improving the project performance and maximizing its success.
Three firms have have been hired to undertake the study. Africa Source Investment Trade and Environment Management is looking at agribusiness, Sokanida Resources Ltd is working on tourism whiled MBD and Alpha Associate company is working on manufacturing.
Fina Felix, executive secretary of TCCIA-Arusha, expressed gratitude to BEST-AC for supporting private sector organisations like TCCIA with grants and technical assistance.
The protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market entered into force on July 1, 2010, following ratification by all the five partner states - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
BEST-AC is a grant programme that assists business membership organizations to create a better business environment. The grants enable the organizations to be successful in their dialogue with government to change policies, laws and regulations.
It is responsible for the effective and efficient design, development and delivery of the Private Sector
Advocacy (PSA) Fund provided through grants from the governments of Denmark (through Danish International Development Assistance -Danida), the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Sweden (through the Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA) and the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development, DFID).
COWI Denmark management consultants manage BEST-AC.