Members of the East African Business Council (EABC), the umbrella arm of the private sector in EAC has elected Uganda’s clearing and forwarding proficient, Kassim Omar as its new chairperson.
Mr Omar is the President of the Uganda Clearing and Industry Forwarders Association (UCIFA) and has been the council’s vice chairperson –Uganda Chapter. He succeeds Burundi’s Audace Ndayizeye- from the Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Elected at their 16th Annual general meeting, Mr Omar will chair the council of 20- member team from the five East African Member states of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.
However South Sudan the newest member of the community did not get representation because they had not yet elected their representative at the country level.
Giving an update on South Sudan’s status on the private sector council representation, the executive director EABC, Ms Lillian Awinja said: “South Sudan has been invited to join EABC. To this effect the council will be visiting South Sudan early September to sensitize them about the role of EABC.”
Ms Awinja explained that South Sudan’s joining the council was suspended because of the political conflict in that country which saw members of other country sent packing.
In his acceptance speech, Omar pledged to push the private sector agenda towards creating a conducive business environment by engaging with the governments to reduce the cost of doing business in the region.
“We will continue to engage with members through consistent and purposeful communication and dialogue in all EAC Partner States and scale up our communication of achievements to ensure the Members are fully informed of EABC work,” Mr Omar pledged.
He further said his team will work towards expanding the EABC’s membership which is currently at 140 members.
From Uganda Mr Omar will represent the council with Mr. Jim Kabeho (Madhavani Group), Mr Stuart Mwesigwa (Roofings Group) and Ms Barbra Mulwana (Nice House of Plastics) also the new chairperson of Uganda Manufacturers association.
Burundi will be represented by Mr Audace Ndayizeye-Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry Burundi, Mr Petit Jean Ndikumana- Burundi Clearing and Freight Fowarders Association, Mr Boaz Nimpe -Burundi Bankers Association and Ms Jacqueline Ndayizeye-Burundi Women Entrepreneurs Association
While Kenya’s Nick Nesbitt -Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Mr. Luttaf Kassam -Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Mr. Simukai Munjanganja -BAT and Ms. Susan Maingi -Bamburi Cement.
Rwanda’s representatives are Mr Dennis Karera-Rwanda Hospitality Association.
Vice Chair, Mr Stephen Ruzibiza -Private Sector Federation, Ms Yvonne Makolo-Rwandair and Mr JB Rusagara-Intraspeed / Rwanda Shippers Council.
Tanzania will be represented by Mr Felix Mosha Tanzania Private Sector Foundation- Elected Vice Chair, Dr Samwel Nyantahe -Confederation of Tanzania Industries, Ms Jacquiline Woiso-Managing Director Bank M Tanzania Limited and Mr Alexander Foti-Gwebe-Nyirenda-SBC PEPSI Tanzania.