Zanzibar President congratulates Ngatia on election as EACCI President

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 15 – The President of Zanziber Dr Hassan Mwinyi has today poured a glowing tribute to former Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Richard Ngatia as he congratulated the business mogul on his recent election as the President of the East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (EACCIA).

President Mwinyi pledged to support the activities of EACCIA under the new leadership saying that the regional chamber had wisely elected the right person and he is ready to support Ngatia and his new board.

President Mwinyi committed to support EACCI and the integration of the region in the ateas of business and agricultural development.

Zanzibar’s Minister for Trade and Industry Development, Hon Omar Said Shaaban, delivered the Presidents speech officially inaugurated the EACCIA Board and launched the strategic plan noting that President Mwinyi is fully behind the regional chamber’s leadership.

This was during the Zanzibar business conference held on 15-16 December, 2023 at the Golden Tulip hotel in Zanzibar.

Ngatia on his part said that as the incoming President of the East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture, he was more than happy and honored to participate in the transformative event that is aimed at shaping investment prospects not only in Zanzibar but across the entire East Africa region.

“I wish to express gratitude to H.E. the President of Zanzibar Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi for hosting us on this remarkable island of Zanzibar, abundant with opportunities.”

“The East African Community (EAC) stands as one of the fastest-growing regional economic blocs, characterized by a significant youth and urban population.”

“Somalia’s recent entry as the eighth member has expanded the EAC regional market to over 300 million people. In 2022, prior to Somalia’s inclusion, the combined gross domestic product of the EAC countries reached $305 billion, with a total trade value of $78.75 billion. It’s essential to highlight that women constitute at least 70% of cross-border traders, significantly contributing to intra-African trade,” Ngatia said.

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While acknowledging past successes in Public-Private Partnerships, Ngatia said that there are still countless untapped opportunities which call for collaboration between the public and private sectors.

“The EACCIA remains steadfast in consolidating gains from trade liberalization schemes, empowering our members and partners to seize the abundant opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

“In my new role, I reiterate our commitment to supporting the EAC regional agenda and accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA, fostering an inclusive and equitable trade agenda for the prosperity of all,” Ngatia said.

Ngatia took over from the immediate former EACCIA President Hon Toufiq Salim TURKY. He noted that while strides have been taken towards realizing an East African single market, the full potential of the Customs Union and Common Market awaits realization.

“Collaborative efforts among governments, the business community, and the private sector are imperative to address regional challenges. EACCIA will advocate for tariff elimination and collaborate with regional government institutions to harmonize trade policies, standards, and regulations,” Ngatia noted.

He called on the region to harness the AfCFTA, leveraging its myriad of opportunities to expand trade beyond borders to establish a robust foundation for long-term collaboration and partnerships.

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