Kassim Omar appointed chairman of the East African Business Council
The East African Business Council, during the 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM), appointed its new Executive Committee Members (ECM) with Mr. Kassim Omar from Kampala, Uganda emerging as the New Chairman of the board for the period 2017/2018.
Mr. Omar will be heading an Executive Committee team of 22 Members that provides Strategic Direction to the East African Business Council, the apex body of the Private Sector in East Africa. EABC Changes its board of directors once every year during the Annual General Meeting. Mr. Omar takes over from Mr. Audace Ndayizeye who has served for the period 2016-2017.
Mr. Kassim Omar is the National Chairman of Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association
The 18th AGM was held at the Serena Hotel in Kampala, Uganda, on 16th June 2017. Mr. Kassim Omar lauded the East African Business Council for the good work that has been done in the recent years and congratulated the incoming board of directors, urging them to continue the ongoing initiatives in the EAC Integration process.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Kassim Omar reiterated the need to strengthen the EABC Secretariat and work towards the sustainability of the Institution with a view to reducing donor dependence and steering the organization towards greater heights. , Mr. Omar also outlined the need to continue to build EABC’s institutional capacity through enhancing the technical and financial capabilities in order to ensure sustainability.
He lauded EABC’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the private sector in the EAC Integration Process, has marked the 20th anniversary and outlined his determination to ensure that EABC earns regional recognition as the driver for policy change on East African business issues.
Strong advocacy campaigns will be undertaken for the Comprehensive review of EAC Common External Tariff & EAC Customs Management Act; Domestic Taxes Harmonization; Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers; Harmonization of East African Standards; EAC regional local content policy; liberalization of trade in services & free movement of business persons ; telecommunication; domestication of EAC Air Space; harmonization of work permit regimes; combating of illicit trade in the region; implementation of WTO agreement on Trade Facilitation and Sectoral Issues such as; agriculture, tourism, textile, leather, automobile industry, sugar industry, pharmaceuticals and iron and steel sub-sectors.
He also encouraged Members to sign up to the newly launched EABC- led Code of Conduct for Doing Business in the East African Region that was launched by the 17th Heads of State Summit on 2nd March, 2016 and urged the secretariat to continue to engage members through consistent and purposeful communication and dialogue.
Mr. Omar further appreciated efforts by the former chair Mr. Audace Ndayizeye in steering the work done in the year 2016 together with the Executive Committee. Mr. Kassim Omar reiterated his commitment and passion to work with colleagues, Executive Committee members and requested full support from EABC Members, Secretariat, EABC National Focal Points, as well as the East African Community Secretariat and Development Partners.
Mr. Omar reiterated, “This year as EABC marks the 20th anniversary, I urge all to collaborate hand in hand with EABC in order to fulfill our mandate and role of being the dynamic voice of the private sector in the East African”. Alongside the 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) the EABC Board of Directors and EABC Members from the 5 EAC Countries paid a courtesy visit to the Rt Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda.
The new team will also seek to engage various partners much more effectively for the mutual benefit of both organizations.