Ethiopia and TMA sign Host Country Agreement renewing partnership

TradeMark Africa (TMA) will support interventions in Ethiopia aimed at reducing trade costs on key corridors, improving the trade environment and improving private sector competitiveness.


Addis Ababa, August 23rd, 2018: TradeMark Africa (TMA) and the Government of Ethiopia have today signed a Host Country Agreement (HCA) paving the way for TMAs expansion into Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs State Minister Professor Kassu and Transport State Minister Hiwot Mosisa represented the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. TMA was represented by its CEO, Frank Matsaert.

The HCA now paves way for the establishment of TMA’s Ethiopia Country Programme, with physical presence in Ethiopia, budget and staff to manage the country programme. The three overriding broad areas of intervention / results envisaged for the Ethiopian programme include:

Reducing trade costs on corridors: This focuses on the transport, logistics and infrastructure of particularly busy corridors (ports, roads and border posts), to reduce the cost of trade and transport.

Improving the trading environment: This focuses largely on introducing new electronic systems to streamline ports, borders and corridors and to ease and fasten movement of goods and people. It includes wide policy and regulatory measures that apply global best practice to trade facilitation and export markets.

Increasing private sector competitiveness: This focuses on increasing the role of business in public policy making on trade, and ensuring the private sector takes advantage of an improving trading environment, especially for cross-border informal trade.

TMA, an aid-for-trade organisation working in reducing barriers to trade in East Africa and improving business competitiveness and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, UK, and USA. TMA works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

Established in 2010, TMA supports a portfolio of programmes across the East Africa Community partner countries, working closely with our partners – the EAC Partner States, EAC Secretariat, the private sector and civil society – TMA has made a significant contribution to this growth by delivering large scale impact in its highly successful first strategic phase which was completed in December 2017.

TMA Is now embarking on Its second strategic phase for the six years from 2017/18 to 2022/23 known as “Strategy 2” which seeks to increase trade by unlocking economic potential anchored on 2 key outcomes:

  • Reduced barriers to trade; and
  • Improving business competitiveness.


TMA is making a huge difference to reducing the high barriers to trade in East Africa. When we started our work in 2010, it would take around 20 days to move a container from the port of Mombasa in Kenya to Kampala, Uganda’s capital some 1,200 kms distance. After the work done by TMA and its partners to reduce infrastructure barriers, border delays and reducing red tape and corruption this has fallen to around 10 days, that’s half the time it took in just 7 years. Costs have also fallen by a third. TMA has made this happen by focusing on addressing bottlenecks and automating trade processes.

TMA CEO Frank Matsaert noted, “We are excited with this new phase of growth that adds an important country and economy into its operations. Our programme will contribute to reduced trading costs for Ethiopia with its trading partners on key corridors, improve the trade environment and boost private sector competitiveness. All these efforts will help propel Ethiopia into a leading economy and grow prosperity for its citizens.”