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The East African : Aug 4th 2014
18 The EastAfrican OPINION AUGUST 2-8,2014 PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY THE NATION MEDIA GROUP Da≥ opens up its capital ma≥ket; b≥avo! THE MOVE by Tanzania to allow East African nationals to freely move capital in and out of the country is a welcome act that was long overdue. Tanzania has long been viewed as somewhat overcautious in making the landmark needed to push the integration agenda that is the bedrock of the East African Community Treaty. That is the reason why this decision will be praised by investors in the five member countries who had to face unnecessary restrictions and red tape while doing business in Tanzania. First and foremost, opening up the capital market will attract investments into Tanzania, since investors always prefer a business environment that provides the leeway of moving capital in and out of a country without too many restrictions. As a result, it is expected that investors from the region will now express more interest in doing business in Tanzania since the decision will give them greater flexibility in raising capital for various projects, unlike before. The move will also help stabilise the Tanzania shilling and make the country more competitive. On the regional level, the opening up of the capital market will also enhance intra-EAC trade, which has been on the rise but still faces major hurdles. Data from the EAC Secretariat shows that intra-EAC trade grew to $5.5 billion in 2012, up from $4.5 billion in 2011. The Secretariat, however, conceded that this figure would have been even higher were it not for the trade and non-trade barriers imposed by the EAC member states. Despite the growth, intra-trade levels are still low compared with the European Union, where intra-trade accounts for more than 60 per cent of all trade. If the region is to register double-digit growth rates, the five member states must embrace measures that encourage intra-trade. The next move is for Tanzania to open up its government securities market, which still has restrictions on foreigners’ full participation. Currently, East African citizens can only own 40 per cent of government securities; however, there is hope things will change in the near future. It is imperative for EAC countries to ensure that the Common Market Protocol, which envisages the free movement of goods and services in the region, succeeds. Opening up the capital market will facilitate financial and investment flows in the region. The member states also need to do more to eliminate the remaining trade and non-trade barriers. Ensuring the establishment of onestop-border posts will be one way of doing this. As a result, EAC must ensure the following common border posts are operational in the soonest time possible, that is, the Taveta-Holili border and the Namanga border (Kenya-Tanzania), Busia and Malaba border (Kenya-Uganda) and the Kanyaru-Akanyaru border (BurundiRwanda). Others are the Gasenyi-Nemba border (Burundi-Rwanda), Lungalunga-Horohoro border (Kenya-Tanzania) and theMutukula border (Tanzania-Uganda). A PUBLICATION OF THE NATION MEDIA GROUP LINUS GITAHI: Chief Executive Officer TOM MSHINDI: Acting Editorial Director PAMELLA SITTONI: Managing Editor Nation Centre, Kimathi Street, P.O. Box 49010-00100 G.P.O. Nairobi. Tel. 3288000, 2221222, 337710, Fax 214531, 213946. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © Nation Media Group For now, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda are more than a lap ahead of the rest.” Cha≥les Onyango-Obbo of July. Not surprisingly, Kenya Airways and its Sky Team partners have cornered the cream for themselves, as they are the only ones that will be operating there. It is not something to sneer at. You can fit the departure lounges at Ugan- T Unlike the other two, Kenya has noisy and disruptive politics and is hobbled by patronage and lately, terrorism. No problem... da’s Entebbe, Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, and Rwanda’s Kanombe in Kigali, into Terminal 1A and still have space to spare. The terminal will be fully complete in March 2015. The thing about the new terminal is that it tells a different and bigger story – there is a serious infrastructure race going on in the wider East Africa. For now three countries are more than a lap ahead of the rest — Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. Uganda and Bu- he new Terminal 1A at Kenya’s main international airport, JKIA, started operating full commercial flights at the end EA inf≥ast≥uctu≥e ≥ace: T≥io opening up big lead rundi stumbled coming off the starting blocks and haven’t steadied themselves yet. Tanzania seems caught between looking over its shoulders at the back markers, and glancing ahead to size up the lead pack. It is interesting to watch the leaders. Rwanda, with nearly 12 million people, is small in both population and size compared with Kenya with its 42 million. It is a speck relative to Ethiopia with more than 90 million. Its strategy seems to be to overcome the disadvantage by leading in speed of execution, pushing first mover advantage in technology, and edging the competition in policy. The airport in Kigali is undergoing a feverish remake, and it is probably the only airport on the continent that has smart e-gates; with your biometric ID and fingerprint, you are through. It also has one of the continent’s most liberal visa policies for Africans, an area where immigrant-wary and xenophobic rivals won’t match it for a while. It has harvested a huge jump in Afri- can traffic. Recently, I took a ride from upcountry with RwandAir’s chief John Mirege. Like true sons of Mother Africa, we stopped at a famous place to eat roast maize. Over mouthfuls, he told me business was looking so good, they too are jumping into the Boeing Dreamliner market like Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways have already Co≥d silence on ICC shows how pe≥vasive impunity is for relevance is that of accountability. Including through the ongoing trials of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto before the International Criminal Court. The question is why? CORD is undeniably picking up on O what seems to be of general public concern. Insecurity, for instance. The pervasive sense that everybody who should be responsible for security is out to lunch, with nobody in charge. However, CORD has also picked up on what is arguably not of general public concern — an issue about which the public is divided roughly down the middle: The last general election and what needs to be done to ensure the public’s vote means something. So whether or not a concern resonates with the public across the board is not CORD’s only criteria for inclusion of an issue on its agenda. Why not accountability then? Perhaps it is because CORD — like all political alliances and coalitions that preceded it — includes among its members those from whom accountability could also be demanded. History does repeat itself. There is no political alliance or coalition in Kenya today without carry-overs, continui- ne issue the Coalition for Reform and Democracy has not had the courage to pick up in its recent surge ties, from the past — the colonial-era collaborators may slowly be dying out, but the first republic’s are still with us, alive and well, scattered across the Jubilants and CORD alike. Thus, CORD raising accountability would create yet more rancour amongst its already ill-disciplined troops. Finally, it may also be that CORD is finding news from the ICC as depressing as the rest of us. The case of William Ruto and Joshua Sang is proceeding — albeit with an ever-diminishing witness list. Unspoken disquiet arises from the uncertainty as to the CORD may cynically have decided to prepare for the realignments expected if Kenyatta’s case falls through Uhuru Kenyatta case — beset too by an ever-diminishing witness list but also by the co-operation or lack thereof of the government of Kenya. The Attorney General is publicly adamant. As far as he’s concerned, the Office of the Prosecutor is on a fishing expedition. He is irritated with both the broad nature of the OTP’s requests, as well as the lengthy time period to which those requests pertain. He thinks the OTP should only ask for whatever specific records will done. Uganda Air, meanwhile, has gone to ground. Ethiopia, on the other hand, does scale and efficient delivery. It is building dams and railways at levels no other African country can equal and bringing them to completion far more cheaply than Kenya or Uganda. It is a Chinese-style model, and the Chinese are loving it. Ethiopia is thus becoming China’s regional industrial hub. Unlike Rwanda or Ethiopia, Kenya has noisy and disruptive politics and is hobbled by patronage. And lately terrorism is scuppering sections of the economy, like tourism. No problem. Kenya uses gusto and its innovative depth to great effect. Its strategy seems to be that no matter how bad the situation is, you cannot ignore or avoid doing business with it — often as first choice. By the end of next year it will have a terminal for chaps like all those Nigerian billionaires who hop around the continent in private jets. And the technology innovations in its financial sector today, are easily five to 10 years ahead of most of Africa. Kenya can be messy, but it’s absolutely inescapable. Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, have their work cut out keeping up with this trio. Cha≥les Onyango-Obbo is edito≥ of Mail & Gua≥dian Af≥ica (mgaf≥ica.com). Twitte≥:@cobbo3 There is no political alliance in Kenya without continuities from the past.” L. Muthoni Wanyeki corroborate evidence already in the OTP’s possession. The OTP is equally adamant. As far as it is concerned, there is a “substantial body of evidence that suggests the accused played a role in financing the violence” and “the GoK is aware of the nature of this evidence.” It thinks it is obvious such financing would not be direct but through proxies. It therefore wants all asset, banking, tax and other records not just of Kenyatta himself but of any company he has an interest in. More cynically, CORD may also have decided to prepare for the political realignments expected if Kenyatta’s case falls through and Ruto and Sang’s cases do not. And so here we are. With nobody — not even the political opposition — speaking up for accountability. L. Muthoni Wanyeki is Amnesty Inte≥national’s ≥egional di≥ecto≥ fo≥ East Af≥ica, cove≥ing East Af≥ica, the Ho≥n and the G≥eat Lakes. This column is w≥itten in he≥ pe≥sonal capacity.
July 28th 2014
Aug 11th 2014