DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) --
The Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information
and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), a regional
non-governmental organization, on Tuesday urged East African
Community (EAC) member states to ensure better terms with
investors and protect the rights of both governments and the
The EAC member
countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South
Sudan are currently preparing an EAC investment model treaty
which, among other things, emphasizes on the need to have common
grounds of negotiations with investors.
Country Director Jane Nalunga recommended a more people-centered
approach to investment policy and deal-making.
“We in the EAC must
establish a common investment negotiation model to avoid
competing against each other and balance between the protection
of investors’ rights and community rights,” she told a regional
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) workshop in Tanzania’s
commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
According to Nalunga,
some EAC countries provided too many incentives to investors and
offered them too many years of tax holidays, thus posing
To come up with the
best EAC investment model treaty, she said, countries should
ensure wide participation of stakeholders and consider their
opinions so as to make the region one investment destination and
the most attractive.
investment is an important element in the EAC partner states’
development journey since they bring fresh capital, technology,
competitive spirit and jobs.
She said most
investment promotion initiatives including policies, laws and
agreements being developed, negotiated and signed in the region
are focused on growing foreign direct investments (FDIs) inflows
as the cornerstone of development.
regional and international trade consultant, John Bosco
Kanyangoga, faulted the EAC governments over their failure to
negotiate better deals with investors.
“There are no
win-win situation in most of the signed FDI agreements...we
always settle for less,” he said, adding that the countries
lacked proper regulatory and monitoring systems which lead to
all the invested funds transferred back to Europe.
In 2016, an EAC
trade report said FDI created an estimated 2.48 million jobs in
construction, manufacturing, real estate, wholesale, business
services, retail and tourism.
from job creation and innovation, also drive trade and
industrialization, and contribute to greater tax revenue
generation, said the report.