NAIROBI– Kenya is engaging is partners in the East African Community (EAC) to assess the impact of non-tariff trade barriers in view of numerous emerging challenges faced by Kenyan products accessing the regional market.

The apparent slowdown in the implementation of decisions contained in the EAC Common Market Protocol is seen as hampering investment and capital flows within and into the sub-region, says Kenyan Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for the EAC and Regional Development Adan Mohamed.

He said the National Assembly should redirect its legislative focus towards harmonizing EAC laws in the context of various domestic laws to ensure that they strengthen regional integration efforts.

Speaking at a working retreat with members of the National Assembly Select Committee on Regional Integration here Wednesday, he noted that the members were serving at a time of great challenge to Kenya’s regional pre-eminence.

We must guard against the constantly changing regional dynamics in East Africa and the Horn of Africa which greatly impact on Kenya’s strategic regional interests, said Adan.

He urged the legislators to probe the various Bills, reports and protocols in the context of emerging regional dynamics.

Noting that the EAC accounted for a quarter of Kenya’s export trade, he stressed that Kenya needed to continue pursuing engagements with its neighbours to resolve outstanding issues and protect its economic interests.

He added that his Ministry would be hosting the private sector at a dialogue next week to distill all the issues to be brought up and develop a common approach to address them. “Shortly after that we are going to convene an inter-ministerial session to ensure alignment within Government,” said Adan.

EAC dynamics have escalated in the recent past and it’s a critical market for Kenya now and into the future. The grouping comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.