Non-tariff barriers have been cited as the most challenging stumbling block in the East African regional block. Youths doing business in the member states decry the barriers that deny them chance to explore and utilize the available market.
This took the greater part of the discussion at the YouLead summit 2019 sitting in Arusha Tanzania.
Despite the willingness expressed by member states in the integration process some are still adamant and only look at how they benefit as individual states.
During the YouLead summit young entrepreneurs raised a number of issues that frustrate them hindering their participation in regional trade hence keeping their products at local markets.
They say the available technology in the new media era gives them chance to reach out to many people outside their home countries but sometimes they find it hard when it comes to physical exportation of goods to their clients.
Sylvanus Maritim, Member of Parliament Ainamoi in Kericho County, says despite the good policies that are in place, there is a lot that needs to be harmonized for East African states to get on the same page.
Access to finance is another challenge the youth cite that hinders their entrepreneurship needs, despite some governments having youth empowerment programs; the youths are not yet fully into business and the unemployment is still high in the region.
Lilian Aber, the Chairperson National Youth Council, says youths who are doing business should put in mind the fact that value addition is one of the most important factor is business if one is to maximize profits.
She adds that the available market in the region will only be beneficial to the youths if they have quality products to market there.