Kenya and Tanzania are Increasing Barriers to Trade Against Common Market Protocol
The Common Market Protocol in East Africa calls for conducive business environment for member countries of EAC. This requirement is being violated by both Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda on the other hand had observed greatest compliance.
For instance, Kenya increased the Non Tariff Barriers by more than twice from 10 to 23. Meanwhile in Tanzania Non Tariff Barriers increased from 7 to 24. This is a clear indicator that the two countries are not committed to creating improved trade relations within the EAC trading block.
The laws and regulations being implemented in some EAC countries are highly prohibitive. Earlier August Kenyan and Tanzanian businessmen met in Dar es Salaam to discuss trade relations between the two countries. They pointed out some of the regulations which are against Common Market Protocol.
Further, Tanzania is proposing new media laws which will have a negative impact on the Common Market Protocol. Tanzania’s Media Services Act 2016 and Media Services Regulations 2017 will required foreign magazines and newspapers to prove that 51 per cent shareholding is owned by Tanzanians before being issued trading licenses.
Businessmen and other professionals visiting Tanzania for business or assignments will be required to pay $250 for a pass.
In Kenya professionals in law and engineering are not allowed to practice within her territories. For example, Advocates Act, Cap 16 under section 11 requires that if an advocate from other EAC states appears in Kenyan courts, they have to be accompanied by a Kenyan advocate.
Foreign Engineering firms have to show prove that 51 percent of their shares are owned by Kenyans. EAC countries should borrow a leave from Uganda. This country is reviewing its Investment Code Bill 2017 with the intention of treating investors from EAC states as local investors enjoying the same privileges as those of Ugandan nationals. The code is being reviewed by cabinet.