Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia was Wednesday elected to chair 12-nation trade body with a focus on easing restrictions on cross-border trade.
He takes over from Laurent Yogo of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who headed the lobby group on an interim basis.
Mr Ngatia who will head the Great Lakes Region Private Sector Forum for two years said he is keen to lobby governments to ease cross-border movement of goods.
His election during the general assembly meeting of the trade lobby comes at a time Kenya is caught up in trade dispute with Tanzania over non-tariff barriers that have restricted the entry of some locally-made products into Arusha.
“My priority, first of all, is markets, to instil corporate governance within the 12 countries in the region to provide a conducive environment and to make sure we increase the stability within our borders so that we can conduct businesses,” said Mr Ngatia who was in May confirmed unopposed as KNCCI President.
The 12-nation regional lobby group comprises Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC, Burundi, Central African Republic, Angola, Sudan, Zambia, South Sudan, Rwanda and Congo Brazzaville.