Seizing the opportunity of a Summit of the East African Community, the East African Employers Organisation was publicly launched at a well attended party on Thursday evening April 26th in the Kibo Palace Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.
The East African Employers Organisation (EAEO), bringing together the national employers organisations of the member countries of the East African Community (EAC), was formally registered in September 2011. Since many organisational things could not properly be attended to prior to that registration, the young organisation kept very much to itself in the first months of its formal existence. Clearly this is not what it should keep on doing, since the prime objective of the EAEO is to actively promote the common interests of employers within the EAC at EAC level.
The Summit of the East African Community (EAC), scheduled for the end April 2012 proved a welcoming opportunity to launch the EAEO publicly – even though a lot of work would still have to be done to get the EAEO at full speed.
The public launch of the EAEO took place on April 26th in Arusha, the administrative capital of the EAC. The launch was attended by Ministers to the EAC of nearly all EAC member countries, their permanent secretaries, staff officials and representatives of other organisations such as the East African Business Council. The press was also well represented.
Guest of Honour, the Kenya Minister to the EAC and present Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, H.E. mr. Musa Sirma, M.P., officially launched the EAEO. In a promising speech he acknowledged the importance of the private sector in the development of the EAC and warmly welcomed clear and united representation of employers’ interests in establishing an inviting business climate, fostering formal employment and enhancing labour productivity throughout the EAC.
The launch was an important step in a work which had been undertaken over the last four years by the national employers’ organisations from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zanzibar and Uganda. From the start this work has been promoted and supported - technically and financially - by the DECP.
In his speech at the launch, mr. Ronald de Leij, director of the DECP, promised the programme would stay ‘on board’ to ensure the EAEO becomes fully established and adequately able to represents the interest of employers as soon as possible.
In a word of thanks to the Honorary Guest, other speakers and guests, Eng. Martin Kasekende, chairman of the Federation of Uganda Employers, called upon all to help complete the work of establishing the EAEO and explicitly expressed gratitude to the DECP for its ongoing support.