Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers in East Africa

This brief summarises and sets in context the results of the UK Department for International Development – DFID (now part of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – FCDO).

Commissioned independent evaluation of TradeMark Africa (TMA) programmes, which includes support to the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers. With a focus on the East African Community (EAC) states (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan), TMA’s programme aims to support poverty alleviation for all, through a range of interventions implemented at the national and regional level.

Key messages

  • TMA’s work has contributed to eliminating NTBs in the EAC; TMA has deployed stakeholders effectively in its NTBs elimination activities, and it has mainstreamed gender considerations into its NTBs work;
  • Results have included faster trade along the EAC trade corridors, and considerable savings from reduced trade times and simpler, quicker procedures.
  • TMA’s NTBs work programme supports the reduction of trade times and costs in the region, but its precise impact is difficult to measure due to challenges in the monitoring and reporting system;
  • Despite TMA’s contribution to eliminating NTBs, the number of barriers has increased due to increased protectionism and political and economic tensions between EAC countries;
  • It is suggested that TMA’s ongoing work on NTBs should focus on the political economy of these barriers, to understand 1) how and why they arise, and 2) what are the conditions that would enable governments in the EAC to set up a sustainable mechanism to eliminate NTBs.

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