Dar es Salaam – May 24, 2013
Finland on Friday May 24th gave 4 million Euros to TradeMark Africa ( TMA ) to support its work in enhancing trade across the East African Community to increase prosperity in the region.

“East Africa’s potential has never been greater; East Africa is an increasingly important and vibrant player in the world economy,” Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala said at the signing ceremony.

“TradeMark Africa (TMA) is a key strategic partner in growing trade and prosperity in the region. Facilitating regional trade is an effective means to alleviate poverty and create welfare. It must also be remembered that integration is not only about economics. Integration does much to enhance peace and stability,” she said.

The funding goes to TradeMark Africa (TMA), a multi-donor funded development agency working with national governments, the private sector, civil society and the EAC to reduce barriers to smooth and efficient commerce across the EAC bloc to bring prosperity and opportunity to its 160 million citizens. TradeMark Africa (TMA) supports multiple partners across the region to achieve growth in trade.

Finland’s strategy for development cooperation and action plan for aid for trade put more emphasis on the development of trade and regional economic integration. The Finnish government believes that supporting increased trade in the region in combination with assistance to the private sector will accelerate economic growth and jobs, with the ultimate goal of poverty reduction.

The visiting Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, Alexander Stubb said: “I believe that free trade is the key for economic prosperity and development. The Finnish government is keen to create opportunities for business partnerships, trade & investment and transfer of knowledge and technology. I am excited about TradeMark Africa’s (TMA) comprehensive programme to increase trade, reduce trade barriers and transport costs and increase the pace of economic integration in the region.”

The key areas for the grant will include work with TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s core partners on reducing the costs of trade in the region, focusing on:

  • Promotion of infrastructure projects , such as port development, to boost trade.
  • Efficiency and infrastructure improvements at key border crossings in East Africa
  • Support to regional private sector growth
  • Removal of non-tariff barriers to trade
  • Strengthening the trade environment and progress on East African regional integration.

TradeMark Africa (TMA) CEO Frank Matsaert said in thanking Finland for the funding: “TradeMark Africa will continue to focus its efforts on increasing trade and prosperity, primarily through investing where there will be the biggest impact for East Africa’s people and private sector. Our approach – under the leadership of the East African Community – is to focus on national implementation with an emphasis on reducing the high costs of trading across the region,”

“This involves investing in key regional infrastructure projects that reduce trade costs and increase trade – such as one stop border posts (OSBPs) and the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam – combined with improvements in systems to drive results. All these activities are essential to sustain the region’s growth rates and reduce poverty,” he said.

TradeMark Africa (TMA) and its partners are trying to reduce the costs of transport to and within East Africa – some of the highest in the world – to reduce the costs of imports and grow private sector commerce and government revenues.

The grant agreement will make available Euro 4 million (approximately TZS 8.8 billion) to support regional economic integration through TradeMark Africa (TMA) over the period 2013 to 2015.

Embassy of Finland’s support to Regional Development Cooperation

Development policy is an important part of Finland’s foreign and security policy. It is based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), derived from the UN Millennium Declaration, which aim at the eradication of extreme poverty.

Human rights are an integral part of Finland’s development policy, because development is not sustainable without all people having an equal right to influence and participate in the definition and implementation of their own development.

Development policy and practical development cooperation support developing countries’ own development efforts.

As a Member State of the EU, Finland is committed to reaching the target of 0.7 per cent of its gross national income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA) by 2015.

Finland’s Development Policy emphasises the following four dimensions:

  1. A democracy and accountable society that promotes human rights
    One of Finland’s key objectives is to support the establishment of well-functioning and democratic public institutions. They form the cornerstone of a democratic state. Finnish approach underlines civil society’s freedom of operation and fight against corruption. Finland pays special attention to human rights violations in conflicts.
  2. An inclusive green economy that promotes employment
    Finland supports an enabling environment that promotes investment, entrepreneurship, responsible business activities and decent work. This goal is pursued by promoting public and private as well as civil society partnerships. An inclusive green economy that reduces inequality and economic policy that strives for justice open up opportunities for participation in society, for employment and for access to social protection. It is important to strengthen partner countries’ tax systems and public financial management.
  3. Sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment
    Development policy supports sustainable management of natural resources , environmental protection and natural diversity. Finland aims at a global food security. Finland is also committed to climate change financing and helps the developing countries in adapting to climate change.
  4. Human development
    Finland supports children’s and young people’s right to education, strengthens education and health care systems, and promotes youth employment. In the health care sector, Finland concentrates, among other things, on the improvement of sexual and reproductive rights and on health and maternity health.

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Find out more about Trademark East Africa.


To arrange for interviews please contact:
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Kaisa Alapartanen
Embassy of Finland
Tel: +255 22 2196 565
Mobile: +255 767 919 916
Email:[/su_column][su_column size=”1/3″][/su_column][su_column size=”2/3″]
Nelson Karanja,
Communications Manager, TradeMark Africa
Tel: +254 20 4235221
Mobile: +254 731 500 596

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.