SEATINI Holds Regional Meeting on EAC Investment Treaty

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From 24th to 25th Sep 2015, SEATINI Uganda held a Regional Stakeholder Consultative Meeting with Government Officials on promoting Pro-Development Investment Policies and Agreements in the EAC. The meeting brought together key stakeholders in the region from Civil Society Organisations, Government Ministries, Investment Promotion Agencies, Private Sector, Trade Unions, Media, Academia, EAC Secretariat, Members of Parliament and the East African Legislative Assembly.

The meeting shed light on the different EAC country positions on the model treaty and facilitated engagement of EALA in the development of this model treaty. It also provided an opportunity for participants to chart a way forward on how to promote stakeholder engagement in investment related negotiations at both national and regional levels.

During the meeting, it was emphasized that agriculture and food should be explicitly fronted on the negotiation agenda. In addition to this, land based investments need to be part of the stakeholders’ agenda from the trade and investment angle.

From the two day discussions, clear key areas of negotiation between the EAC and partners that have to be claused in the treaty to guide partner states were identified. Among these were the following:

1. The treaty should facilitated technology transfer and enhancement in the partner states. Because development is dependent on the technology present at a time, investment should build a sound technology base for developing countries.

2. Partner state governments need to put in place a facilitating environment for genuine investment to ensure that the country is the major beneficiary from the investment.

3. Investment is meant to supplement domestic savings with no country dependent on foreign investment. As such, EAC member states need to prioritize a domestic resource mobilization strategy.

At the end of the two-day meeting, Dr. Abubakar Muhammed Moki, Commissioner Policy Development and Capacity Building – Cabinet Secretariat Office of the President launched a study report on the Draft EAC Model Investment Treaty. The Study conducted by SEATINI Uganda identified a number of gaps in the EAC Framework and proposed recommendations to address these gaps.