EAC Investment Sectors

    The EAC priority investor sectors/ areas include agriculture and agribusiness; infrastructure; manufacturing; energy; mining and metals; oil and gas; tourism; education, research and innovation; and health.

    Agriculture and agribusiness: Agriculture is still the backbone of the EAC economy and is number employment sector. The sector also contributes greatly to the GDP growth. Agriculture remains central to the industrialization of the EAC as it provides markets for industrial products and raw materials for industries especially the agro-processing sector. The region has millions of hectares of arable land suitable for agricultural mechanisation and irrigation. The investment opportunities include commercial farming, deep sea fishing, agro-processing, value addition in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry products.

    Infrastructure: Infrastructure is one of the most critical enablers of a successful regional integration, taking into account its importance in facilitating activities such as trade, agriculture, tourism and the movement of labour and other resources. Thus, the EAC recognises that regional infrastructure interventions are key to attracting investment into the region, improving competitiveness, and promoting trade. The sector has the following sub-sectors: Roads; Railway; Aviation; Communications and Inland waterways. The infrastructure and support services sub-sector covers roads, railways, civil aviation, maritime transport and ports, multi-modal transport, freight administration and management. The EAC operates five modes of transport systems consisting of road, rail, maritime, air transport and oil pipe line. PPP opportunities exist in Intra EAC road and railway networks as well in Airports and Port projects

    Manufacturing: Manufacturing is a key sector in EAC’s economic development, both in its contribution to the regional output and exports, and for job creation. Emphasis in the EAC Partner States is on setting key targets and specific goals to steer industrial growth including the development of Special Economic Zones, Export Processing Zones, industrial parks and clusters, and niche products. There are a wide range of direct and joint-investment opportunities in this sector, including agro-processing, garments, the assembly of automotive components and electronics, plastics, paper, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metals and engineering products for domestic and export markets. Also, the region offers abundant natural resources which provide plenty of raw materials for the manufacturing industries such as cotton for garment and textile industries, sisal for canvassing, iron for steel, as well as various minerals and gem stones.

    Energy: EAC is endowed with diverse energy sources including hydro, bio mass, natural gas, coal, geo thermal, solar and wind power and uranium, much of which is untapped. Investment opportunities exist in generation of energy from biogas, hydro carbons (natural gas, oil, and coal), uranium and renewable resources; generation of energy from solar, wind; extraction of biofuels; and geothermal exploration and development.

    Mining and metals: Mining has placed EAC in the higher ranks of African economies in terms of attracting FDIs. EAC is endowed with a variety of industrial minerals and precious metals as well as gemstone.

    Oil and Gas: South Sudan has huge oil deposits and huge quantities of oil were recently discovered in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Oil exploration is ongoing in EAC Partner States. In Tanzania, there has been several gas discoveries on the coastal shore of the Indian Ocean at Songo songo, Mnazi bay and Mkuranga in Coast Region. These discoveries are catalysts of natural gas developments in Tanzania. The EAC region is becoming an oil and gas hub that is presenting a lot of investment opportunities and attracting a lot of FDIs. Most opportunities are in exploration and extraction.

    Tourism: Tourism is one of EAC’s most important industries, and has strong linkages with transport, food production, retail and entertainment. EAC is still one of the most popular tourism destinations and has many investment opportunities in tourism sector. The investment opportunities include establishment of resort cities; branding of premium parks; construction of internationally branded hotels; Development of high quality Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) tourist facilities and conference tourism facilities; health and sports tourism.

    Education, research and innovation: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in EAC have never been ranked among the top 300 HEIs globally. EAC achieving its social and economic development objectives is largely dependent upon its most valuable resource – it’s people. Yet the research and innovation output is still low and needs to be improved if the region is graduate to lower middle income status. The investment opportunities in this sector are in establishment of specialised education, research and innovation institutions to address specific regional human capital requirements and research and innovation needs of the region. Regional innovation ecosystems are grossly lacking and need to be established in partnership with the private sector.

    Health: Heads of State considered and approved the following health investment priorities in the health sector:

    1. expansion of access to specialized health care and cross border health services;
    2. strengthening the network of medical reference laboratories and the regional rapid response mechanism to protect the region from health security threats including pandemics, bio-terrorism and common agents;
    3. expansion of capacity to produce skilled and professional work force for health in the region based on harmonized regional training and practice standards and guidelines;
    4. increase access to safe, efficacious and affordable medicines, vaccines, and other health technologies focusing on prevalent diseases such as malaria, TB, HIV/Aids, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other high burden conditions;
    5. upgrading of health infrastructure and equipment in priority national and sub national health facilities / hospitals;
    6. establishment of strong primary and community health services as a basis for health promotion and diseases prevention and control;
    7. expansion of health insurance coverage and social health protection;
    8. improvement of quality of healthcare, health sector efficiency and health statistics; and
    9. strengthening of health research and development.