Bujumbura – 8th May, 2014
TradeMark Africa ( TMA ) has today signed a grant agreement with the Forum for the Strengthening of Civil Society, (FORSC) to scale up the participation of citizens in EAC integration processes. The project ” Increased citizen’s support for the implementation of the Protocol on the Customs Union with a view of increasing trade flows across the Burundi – Tanzanian border”, will be implemented over a period of 17 months, with the financial support of $ 125,681 from TradeMark Africa (TMA) .

The expected result of the project are the increase of trade opportunities for Burundian and Tanzanian citizens, with about 10 targeted traders reporting increased access to new markets and trade in the EAC, as well as an increase of at least 30% of the number of persons asserting to know more about the Custom Union, and increment of the commercial flows between Burundi and Tanzania.

The project will facilitate the implementation of an exchange framework between traders, Immigration and OBR agents and other stakeholders from both Burundian and Tanzanian sides in order to find solutions to challenges which affect the cross-border trade between both countries.

TradeMark Africa (TMA) Burundi Country Director, Anthe Vrijlandt (middle) giving her remarks FORSC at the grant signing ceremony. She is flanked with officials from FORSC.

An assessment will be conducted at the provincial level to identify successful trade opportunities and gather testimonies of launched business success stories, which will be put in a documentary to serve as support during the exchange meetings with traders from the countryside, in a view of highlighting best practices for promotion in other EAC member countries.

Mr. Vital Nhimirimana, FORSCs Chairman, said, “This project grant support by TradeMark Africa (TMA) comes at a time when civil society organizations urgently need to play a key role in contributing to policy dialogue, providing information, monitoring policy making and programming in support of cross border trade. We will seek close collaboration with key government institutions involved in cross-border trade, other organizations of civil society and the private sector from provinces in which the project will be implemented.”

Additionally, Ms. Anthe Vrijlandt, Country Director of TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s Burundi Programme, further noted the difficulties that the traders are facing, especially the small traders, dealing with cross-border trade.

“The facilitation of the physical access to markets, particularly by improving infrastructure and addressing the factors that contribute to the complexity and high cost of transporting along major economic corridors of East Africa, will be the catalyst for improving cross border trade. The TradeMark Africa (TMA) programmes in Burundi and in other four EAC countries will continue focusing on these areas including the improvement of the trade environment, addressing non-tariff barriers, supporting reforms and trade facilitation measures led by government institutions and EAC and supporting the competitiveness of enterprises through partnership projects with private sector organizations, civil society and the media”.

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.