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EAC SMEs Should Embrace Uniform Approach For Growth

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the East African Community (EAC) need to have a uniform approach if they’re to move to the next level.

Speaking at the East African Business Council at Imperial Royale on Monday, Stella Apolot, the Principal Standards Officer at EAC Secretariat said that they are engaging regional members on new policies about SMEs.

“SMEs need a strategic approach. We need to have a uniform approach to embrace to help SMEs move to another level,” Apolot said.

According to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), SMEs have in the past three years contributed Shs9 trillion in tax revenue.

URA figures indicate that domestic revenue contribution has been recorded at  Shs7.57 trillion, Shs9.08 trillion and Shs9.74 trillion in 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively.

SMEs’ tax contribution to the domestic revenue has been remarkable at Shs2.55 trillion, Shs3.03 trillion and Shs3.54 trillion in 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively.

However, despite the huge potential of SMEs, the EAC member states face a wide range of challenges from certification problems and resource constraints among others.

Alupot says that EAC member states must give priority to support SMEs because the standards available can be used for regional and at the international stage.

“Support of SMEs with high potential of enhanced regional trade, review the existing standards and explore opportunities with other EAC members,” she said.

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