Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a “National Electronic Single Window System,” which aims to facilitate trade with other East African states, at Friday a ceremony attended by the leaders of several neighboring countries.
The system aims to remove impediments to trade between Kenya and other East African countries, which have adversely impacted Kenya’s business environment.
In the past, traders had to go through numerous government agencies to acquire the necessary permits and licenses.
But as of today, the new single window and e-payment systems will enable East African traders to swiftly complete all the official procedures that would have taken them months in the past.
While speaking at the launch ceremony, Deputy President William Ruto explained that, while it used to cost $3300 for a container to be shipped from Kenya to Uganda, it would now only cost $1600 – a reduction of 50 percent.
Containers shipped to Rwanda used to cost $5000; now they will cost only $3300, he added.
President Kenyatta pointed out that, once the new system is fully operational, cargo clearance will become faster at the Port of Mombasa and at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
“We intend to progressively reduce the cargo dwell time at the Port of Mombasa to a maximum of three days and at the JKIA to one day, so as to significantly ease the cost of doing business in the region,” Kenyatta said.
“Therefore, full implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System will have a major positive impact on business in the region,” he added.
The president called on members of the East African community to adopt the single window system so as to remove the barriers to trade between states of the region.
“It is, however, instructive to note that the benefits from this initiative may not be fully realized at the regional level unless all of us in the region adopt National Single Window Systems,” said Kenyatta.
“I am aware that our brothers in Rwanda are already implementing a Single Window System, while similar efforts are underway in Tanzania and Uganda,” he added.
Among those present at Friday’s launch ceremony were Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who expressed confidence in the new system.
“This is one of the many very important projects that East African partner states have undertaken to deepen integration… and make business more efficient,” Kagame said.
“I continue to look forward to Rwanda’s active participation in working with the rest of the partner states to make the integration you want a reality,” he added.
Source: Turkish Press
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.