IIDEA and IRTF Partners at the 21st EAC MSME Trade Fair

2nd – 12th December 2021

Mwanza (Tanzania)Promoting quality and innovation to enhance EAC MSME competitiveness and post-COVID-19 recovery

From the 2nd to the 6th December 2021, the Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) and the Intra-Regional Trade Facility (IRTF) will participate in the 21st EAC MSMEs Trade Fair and Exhibition at Mwanza Rock City Grounds in Tanzania with partners from the private sector and civil society organizations. Over a thousand exhibitors from across the EAC attend this Trade Fair, which promotes cross-border trade of regional products and services. Key regional trade facilitation topics will be discussed inside events and forums for exhibitors and buyers, speed networking and B2B networking.

The East African Community is undertaking MSMEs Development through the EAC Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Trade Fair, also known as the EAC Jua Kali/ Nguvu Kazi exhibition. Organized annually on a rotational basis, the event brings together artisans from the EAC Partner States of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to showcase and market the best products of the region.

It's also jam-packed with entertainment and pleasure for everyone, with traditional and cultural performances from all EAC Partner States, delicious local food, and lots of entertainment. Also, participants will have a chance to witness the gathering of MSMEs from the EAC region promoting cross-border trade on indigenous products and services, buy East African Build East Africa, and Dialogues between regional entrepreneurs and exchange ideas and technology.

The IIDEA & IRTF booth at the EAC MSMEs Trade Fair will be a gathering place for all visitors and stakeholders interested in networking, forming interesting collaborations, and gaining a better understanding of how IIDEA and IRTF support MSMEs from the six partner states. These projects are in digitalization/ICT, health and stakeholder engagement on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), agri-business, and tourism contribute to improving intra-regional trade in the EAC and facilitating private sector advocacy through the EAC MSMEs Trade Fair.

The first EAC MSMEs Trade Fair took place in November 1999 in Arusha, Tanzania, with the historic signing of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Following the success of the Arusha exhibition, the EAC Heads of State recommended that the exhibition be held annually on a rotating basis among the Partner States in order to improve and revamp the socio-economic integration of East Africans.

Small traders have profited from the exhibitions by increasing capacity on value addition, cross-border trade, the EAC Simplified Trade Regime, and other topics through the daily symposia. The exhibition's other benefits include knowledge sharing, technical transfer, and the formation of new partnerships and markets. More traders have formalized their enterprises, added value to their commodities, expanded, and captured new markets in the region over time.

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