Nairobi – March 28, 2014
East African Community (EAC) states are steadily laying the foundations for increased prosperity by dismantling bureaucratic and procedural barriers to economic integration, TradeMark Africa ( TMA ) said today as they launched their second annual report covering the period 2012/2013.

The donor-funded organisation, set up to help EAC states, institutions and the private sector to unlock the wealth potential that integration holds, said in its second annual report that much had been achieved towards unravelling bureaucratic and procedural snags to quicker, smoother and cheaper trade between the countries of East Africa. “Increased revenue resulting from streamlined tax gathering is having a significant effect in Burundi, which is now using tax income to fund health and education projects . In tandem with this improvement, business reforms in Burundi mean that it has jumped 13 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. In the private sector, farmers in Kenya can access EU markets through uniform standards and good practices; women cross-border traders in Rwanda and business people in Tanzania have been made aware of the trade opportunities of EA integration; and mutual recognition of professional qualifications will unlock a huge unexploited potential in EA. Meanwhile, Partner States’ products will be subject to harmonised EAC standards that will ensure better quality, safety and sustainability of all products,” TradeMark Africa (TMA) CEO Frank Matsaert said.

Left to Right: Hellen Orario, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Development Officer, TradeMarkEast Africa CEO, Frank Matsaert and Dr. Chris Kiptoo, TradeMark Africa, <a href=

Lengthy and costly delays in the delivery of goods from the coast to landlocked countries have been tackled through bilateral talks and strengthened legislation that will eliminate non-tariff barriers and will ensure that the 13 One Stop Border Posts currently at different stages of development, will reduce the time it takes to cross the border by a third. Meanwhile, the transport observatory project along the northern corridor is already supplying data that will decrease bottlenecks on major routes.

TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s partners have also weighed in on the significant input the organisation is having on improving the trade environment in the region. Uganda’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde said “the partnership between TradeMark Africa (TMA) and Uganda is enhancing regional integration, reducing the cost of doing business and streamlining the trading environment. The ministry looks forward to consolidating this partnership for the benefit of a sustainable economic growth in the region.”
“It is anticipated that with the implementation of key trade facilitation initiatives, like the Authorised Economic Operator programme and the Electronic Cargo Tracking System, clearance of goods will speed up. The free movement of goods within the region will further be enhanced when the Single Customs Territory is fully operational,” Hon. Kyambadde added.
One TradeMark Africa (TMA) goal is to work with governments, EAC institutions, private business and civil society to reduce by 15 % the average time it takes to import or export a container from Mombasa or Dar es Salaam to Rwanda or Burundi.
It further hopes to slash by one third the amount of time it takes for a truck to cross selected borders, a key additional cost for the freight industry and consumers alike.

Other TradeMark Africa (TMA) projects include:

  • Mapping the border crossing process from start to finish, conducting infrastructure audits and needs assessments and calculating how border crossings can be cheaper and quicker using information technology.
  • One-stop border posts being established in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.
  • Establishing transport observatories (TOs) where collected data is analysed to map bottlenecks and identify non – tariff barriers, with the aim of reducing transport-related costs.
  • Working with government agencies and the private sector to upgrade I.T. systems to enable easier access to information and facilitating the application for the required licenses.
  • Helping install a web based I.T. system at all major customs stations in Uganda, leading to a 50% drop in customs processing time and 24-hour online availability for submission of customs documents.


To arrange for interviews please contact:
Dennis Kashero
Communications Director, TradeMark Africa
Tel: +254 20 4235221
Mobile: +254 731 564 786

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.