PUBLISHED ON November 26th, 2014

New scheme seeks to cut freight costs in East Africa

A whooping $16 million (about Rwf11bn) fund has been set aside for innovators who can come up with effective strategies to cut costs on transport and logistics in East Africa.

The competition, dubbed Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT), will provide grants ranging from $200,000 (about Rwf137m) to $750, 000 (about Rwf514m) to winning proposals from innovators from across the world but whose ideas will be implemented in East Africa.

The challenge was launched yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya.

Managed by Trade Mark East Africa, the challenge seeks to trigger and introduce innovative approaches to tackling freight and transport costs in East Africa which reportedly has the highest freight and transport costs in the world.

Applicants are expected to devise strategies of reducing the time taken along the major East African transport corridors.

The two major corridors are; the Northern Corridor, which links EAC countries to Mombasa Port, and the Central Corridor which connects to Dar-es- Salaam.

TradeMark Africa’s Senior Director of Business Competitiveness Lisa Karanja said their desire was to see East Africa adopt world class logistical technologies to ably compete with the rest of the world.

“It is a challenge to the private sector to develop and test new ideas that could reduce the cost and time of transport and logistics. TradeMark will co-invest with the private sector in projects that have the potential to achieve this but may be too risky to undertake without external support,” Karanja said.

The organisation’s Challenge Fund manager, Isaac Njoroge, said the fund will help private businesses and innovators mitigate risks of high return projects that are risky and have not been tested.

“Businesses in the transport and logistics industry are hereby invited to submit their ideas,” Njoroge said.

Details for submission of proposals can be found on the LIFT website,

Source: The New Times

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.