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OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 23RD EAC MSMES TRADE FAIR

The Vice President of Burundi H.E Prosper Bazombanza officially opened the 23rd EAC MSMEs Trade Fair on 8th December 2023.

Vice President of Burundi H.E Prosper Bazombanza receiving a gift at the Kenya pavilion during the trade fair

The Vice President noted that the trade fair has been a vital platform in enhancing and revamping the socio-economic integration of the people of East Africa. Additionally, it provides a platform and opportunities for MSMEs to showcase their products, and facilitate business-to-business engagement and information sharing on trade-related matters.

The opening ceremony also doubled up as the launch of the EAC Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) App developed by the EAC Secretariat in partnership with Trade Mark Africa. The NTBs App has been developed to ease the reporting, monitoring, and elimination of NTBs in the Community. The App provides for different access levels for the traders and the NTB Focal Points in each Partner State.
It allows the officer to see all the NTBs posted and more importantly, the reporter will be able to track the progress with regard to solving the NTB.

Vice President of Burundi H.E Prosper Bazombanza accompanied by Minister of Commerce, Transport, Industry, and Tourism in Burundi, Marie Chantal Nijimbere and Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community Ms. Annette Ssemuwemba during the unveiling of the NTBs App

The Vice President later visited the Kenya pavilion where he was received by MSEA Board Chairman Mr. James Mureu, and MSEA CEO Mr. Henry Rithaa and got to interact with Kenyan exhibitors at the bazaar. He was accompanied by Ms. Annette Ssemuwemba, Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community, Minister of Commerce, Transport, Industry, and Tourism in Burundi, Marie Chantal Nijimbere, the mayor of Bujumbura city, Jimmy Hatungimana, Burundi Country Representative TradeMark Africa Christian Nibasumba among other dignitaries.

MSEA Board Chairman Mr. James Mureu, and MSEA CEO Mr. Henry Rithaa receiving the Vice President of Burundi at the Kenya pavilion during the opening ceremony

The EAC MSMES Trade Fair is an annual event held on a rotational basis among the EAC partner states. This year’s event, themed “Connecting East Africa MSMEs to Enhance Intra EAC Trade,” is l taking place from the 5th to the 15th of December 2023 at the Cercle Hyppique grounds in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Highlights from the opening ceremony

The EAC region, with a market size of 300 million people and a GDP of approximately U$250 billion, represents a compelling opportunity to boost intra-EAC trade. The geographical expansion of the EAC with the addition of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia now stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, making it a competitive gateway to the larger African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) is coordinating Kenya’s participation in the trade fair.

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