Juba, South Sudan, 23th October 2014 – The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and TradeMark Africa (TMA) today inaugurated the first National Oversight Committee (NOC) to oversee their trade and customs development programme, a sign of their commitment to improve trade growth and competitiveness. The TMA South Sudan programme is providing technical assistance and financial support worth US$24 million to GOSS. The objective of the programme is to support government and international community’s effort in fast tracking movement of humanitarian goods as well as increasing transparency and accountability in the collection of non-oil revenues and reducing cost of doing trade. The programme further envisages supporting the South Sudan government desire to become a member of regional bodies such as the EAC. The programme is financed by the Government of the United Kingdom and TMA regional resources.
Speaking at the inaugural launch, Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) said;
“The Government of South Sudan is delighted to have such a committed ally in trade development like TMA. As a young nation confronting a new era of development, its critical for us that development partners remain conscious of the need for an inclusive and participatory development arrangement that will allow the government and its citizens to participate in nation building. We congratulate TMA for its commitment in this cause.” Jon Dean, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Juba, stated;
“The UK greatly values the TradeMark Africa (TMA) programme and its work in Customs Development and Trade Facilitation. Strengthening the revenue generation capacity of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) will remain a core part of our wider efforts to enhance public financial management in South Sudan. Safeguarding transparency and accountability in the management of these revenues will also ensure that South Sudanese people benefit from these initiatives.”
Speaking at the inaugural NOC event, TradeMark CEO Frank Matsaert said; “Partnership with government and its implementing agencies has been successful in delivering tangible results while ensuring national ownership. We welcome the GOSS’s commitment to embracing this approach and together with our partners here we are very confident we can contribute to the development agenda here in South Sudan.”
TMA is supporting similar projects in the East Africa region especially along the northern corridor and they directly and positively impact on South Sudan. Such projects include: the port of Mombasa improvement project and the one stop border posts along the northern corridor that are aimed at reducing the time and cost of trade including goods transiting to South Sudan and other EAC countries. South Sudan, at the tail of the Northern corridor, will be benefiting from corridor efficiency improvements and specific projects aimed at complementing the process including construction of efficient NIMULE one stop border posts and the customs development projects. It is anticipated that these projects will reduce the time to clear cargo in one direction from 4 days to 2 by the end of 2016.
TradeMark Africa South Sudan Country Director Mr. Eugene Torero highlighted the plans for South Sudan saying; “TMA will sponsor intensive national programmes of capacity building with GOSS in order to promote regional integration and trade competitiveness of the country within the EAC. In order to assist with oversight of TMA’s activities at a national level, TMA has set the National Oversight Committee (NOC) as an advisory body with responsibility for regular oversight and review of the performance of TMA activities and programmes in South Sudan.”
TMA established its South Sudan office in 2011 with support from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and TMA regional resources. TMA project portfolio in East Africa is US$ 600 million. TMA South Sudan is supporting: Customs Management Reforms, Nimule border construction, South Sudan Bureau of Standards, East Africa Community accession plan, Support to South Sudan Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture.
Source:: TradeMark Africa (TMA)
TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.
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.