KEPSA, EABC Plans to issue vaccination certificates to SMEs.

KEPSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carole Kariuki[Photo]

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance in association with the East African Business Council) has announced plans to roll out East African Community vaccination certificates which will aid Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have easier access to other countries while trading.

The decision was reached during a National Focal Point Roundtable meeting held at KEPSA offices where the two bodies listed the certificates alongside other recommendations, it said would support the quick recovery of the region’s economy which is still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus.

KEPSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carole Kariuki said the vaccination certificate will be handed out to countries in the EAC region, by December subject to approval by the respective governments.

“EABC has direct interaction with EAC so it can take the proposal to the council of ministers and heads of state. However, we are hoping it is something that can be solved by the council of ministers and our timeline is that we hope it is out by December, “she added.

EABC Executive Director, John Kalisa noted that the common vaccination certificate will be very efficient for traders who have incurred high costs while undergoing COVID-19 testing every now and then.

“We would like to have a common EAC vaccination certificate. So that whoever is traveling across regions does not undergo COVID testing because it is a cost for our business, our tourism sector, and the SMEs,” John Kalisa said.

Another recommendation agreed upon was the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) that would enable businesses to recover and improve regional trade.

“We must learn from each other. We should exchange our points of view regularly and benefit from each other especially for good practice in the region. This is for us to access the market and take advantage of the various opportunities found in the intercontinental trade,” Denis Nshimirimana, Secretary-General of the Burundi Federal Chamber of Commerce Industry added.

The meeting was attended by representatives from all EAC countries; Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

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