VENTURES AFRICA – TradeMark Africa (TMA), which works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organizations to increase trade by unlocking economic potential, has recently unveiled a web-portal to serve as a one stop shop on information in trade, markets and integration for the entire region.
“For the last four years that we have been in operation, a lot has been achieved. Various projects and measures have been undertaken to improve and enhance trade in East Africa region. We have documented some of the best practices in form of case studies which we have shared on our new website,” said Frank Matsaert, TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s CEO.
TradeMark Africa (TMA) has a track record for executing strategic projects aimed at boosting regional integration and trading. One of such past projects is the construction of One Stop Border Posts (OSPBs) at the Kenya-Tanzania border which saves both time and money for traders.
Also, it recently, in partnership with key stakeholders drawn from government agencies, private sector and the third sector, established a Northern Corridor Performance Dashboard to capture and transmit live data that show the quality of intra-regional trading. Examples of the sort of data covered by the dashboard includes ship waiting time, vessel turnaround time, and cargo dwell time. The information, which can be readily accessed by anyone, helps the relevant agencies in pinpointing possible barriers to trade.
Overall, TradeMark Africa (TMA) has injected $53 million in the port corridor rehabilitation so as to strengthen infrastructure, improve productivity and create an enabling institutional framework. A proof that these efforts are yielding fruits is expressed in the value of Foreign Direct Investments to East Africa which rose by 15 percent to $6.2 billion in 2013.
Expressing his satisfaction at the traction gained, Mr Matsaert said; “Working with our partners, we have made considerable progress and have achieved commendable success. A good number of projects have matured and are delivering substantial benefits for the region, and indeed for the people of East Africa.”
Also at the launch, Karin Anderson, Chair of the Donors Programme Investment Committee, praised the TradeMark Africa (TMA) for contributing to the economic development of East Africa. In his words; “TradeMark Africa (TMA) has achieved great milestones in very few years from automating import and export clearing systems, using single windows to facilitate the transit of goods through East Africa, improving the efficiency of critical government systems relevant to trade, or supporting the upgrading of ports.”
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.