Five Policy Priorities to Facilitate East African Trade and Investment

With 3.9 million people predicted to join the labour market each year from now until 2030, there is a huge jobs challenge facing the East African Community (EAC): the creation of 7,000 jobs per day.

SET has worked with the East African Business Council (EABC) to develop a five-point plan for EAC governments to increase investment and intra-EAC trade and in doing so, help tackle the jobs crisis:

  1. Eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade
  2. Reform the EAC Common External Tariff
  3. Improve regional infrastructure
  4. Fast track liberation of intra-EAC services trade
  5. Promote local sourcing

Further reading:

Balchin, N., Hoekman, B., Martin, H., Mendez-Parra, M. , Papadavid, P., Primack, D. and te Velde, D.W. (2016) Trade in services and economic transformation. SET Report. London: Overseas Development Institute (ODI) (

Eberhard-Ruiz, A. and Calabrese, L. (2017) Trade facilitation, transport costs and the price of trucking services in East Africa. ODI Working Paper. London:  ODI (

Gasiorek, M., Mendez-Parra, M. and Willenbockel, D. (2017) ‘The costs of logistical and transport barriers to trade in East Africa’. ODI Briefing Paper. London: ODI (

te Velde, D. W. (2017) ‘Supporting Kenya’s industrialisation: Mombasa port, SEZs and targeted development cooperation’. Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) Blog. London: ODI (

UNDESA Population Division (2017) World population prospects: the 2017 revision. DVD Edition.

The East African (2017) ‘Disputes are eroding intra-EAC trade gains’. 11 December (


Photo credit: Salahaldeen Nadir / World Bank. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.