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East Africa cautions US against negative travel advisories

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker addresses East African leaders. PHOTO PPU
US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker addresses East African leaders. PHOTO PPU

East African leaders have protested travel advisories issued by the United States against Africa saying these discourage Americans from coming to Africa and affect negatively on trade and investment on the continent.

“East Africa is the place to invest. It is the place to be… security is good. But you should stop this travel advisory issues,” President Yoweri Museveni is quoted as saying at a CEO Roundtable meeting moderated by the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. The Tuesday meeting was held at the sidelines of the UN General assembly in New York (see Museveni speech at UN bottom).

Museveni was one of the heads of state from the East African region and CEOs of major corporations that met to discuss, travel and tourism, agribusiness technology and infrastructure proposals with the Pritzker. The meeting was aimed at strengthening trade ties between the US and the East African Community block.

The leaders said epidemics and terrorism are global threats that affect nations worldwide but when Africa is affected, countries such as the United States are quick to issue negative travel advisories.

The US regularly issues travel ban advisories to its citizens in foreign countries despite facing its own brunt of global terrorism, violence in its communities and health epidemics.

The advisories, the leaders argued, accelerate fear and panic and lead to cancellation of businesses, negatively affecting investments and the growth of tourism in the region and in Africa.

The leaders called on the US to introduce direct flights from the USA to EAC to fast-track trade and promote tourism.

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The breakfast meeting held at the Westin Hotel in New York, organized by the CEO Roundtable, was attended by Museveni, Ethiopias’ Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto.

The leaders and CEOs from the United States and the EAC agreed to hold an annual conference during which they could exchange ideas and opportunities and to fast-track the establishment of agricultural cold chains robust system and bankable feasible infrastructure projects that they could partner for development.

Museveni later addressed the UN General Assembly.

 

 

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