The Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Private Sector Forum composed of private sector bodies of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has today elected Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry Richard Ngatia of Kenya as its 1st elected Chairman of the organization.

He takes over from interim chairman Laurent Yogo and will be first tasked with among other responsibilities: developing the strategic plan and action plan for the organization, setting up the secretariat of the private sector forum as well as engage the regional inter-ministerial meeting which has foreign affairs ministers from the member countries and the heads of state held every two years.

The new Chairman has called for a three-pronged approach in strengthening the regional body’s integration including its attractiveness and competitiveness.

“One key question underpinning Great Lakes economic integration is whether our past experience and achievements are enough to sustain the attractiveness and competitiveness of the regional grouping or we must join the international global value chain competitiveness on the way we do business. We therefore need to position ourselves in a three-pronged approach: to compete by assessing whether current production is efficient and meets market requirements, to connect by acknowledging that to be competitive firms must link to customers, business, institutions and be ICT- literate and to change by assessing whether firms have the capacity to make investments to adapt to fast-changing markets,” Richard Ngatia told the forum.

The general assembly was organized with the support of the office of the special envoy of the Secretary General of the Great Lakes Region and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) under the European Union funded programme in support of peace and security in the Great Lakes Region.