DAR ES SALAAM, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The East African Business Council (EABC) has called for setting up of fresh produce consolidation centers across East African Community (EAC) countries and improve transport interconnectivity in order to boost export volumes and competitiveness.
John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC chief executive officer, made the call during a meeting on Regional Private Sector Engagement on Sea Freight Transport and Logistics sub-sector, focusing on fresh produce, the EABC said in a statement late Thursday.
Kalisa said intra-trade in member states of the EAC is low at 17 percent due to barriers and the high cost of transport estimated at 1.8 U.S. dollars per ton per kilometer.
He said the intricacies and competitiveness of EAC economies rely on the transport and logistics sector, urging ports and trade facilitation agencies to facilitate trade better.
Kalisa said Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively, should benchmark best practices from Durban port in South Africa in terms of efficiency, ship turnaround time and congestion in order to be competitive in African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and international markets.
EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. ■