Dar es Salaam – December 11, 2015 – Finland and TradeMark Africa (TMA) signed an agreement for additional funding on Friday December 11th to further support TMA’s work in enhancing trade across the East African Community to increase prosperity in the region. The agreement was signed by the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, H.E. Pekka Hukka and Mr. Ali Murufuki, TMA Board Chair. Finland has supported TMA since 2013. The grant agreement will make available an additional Euro 2 million (approximately TZS 4.7 billion) to TMA activities in Tanzania.

TMA Board Chair Ali Mufuruki exchanging MOU documents with the Finnish Deputy Head of Mission in Tanzania, Simo-Pekka Parviainen
TMA Board Chair Ali Mufuruki exchanging MOU documents with the Finnish Deputy Head of Mission in Tanzania, Simo-Pekka Parviainen

The additional funding is intended to fill some funding gaps in the implementation of TMA’s Strategy 1. They will help TMA to achieve its goals of enhancing trade and removing trade barriers more efficiently than with their original budget.
The funds will be directed at enhancing one-stop border posts at Holili, Mutukula and Kabanga and improving cross-border trade. The logistics industry will also be supported to be organized more efficiently.
At the moment, East Africa’s trade corridors are characterized by long transit times and high costs. Freight costs per kilometre are more than 50% higher than costs in the United States and Europe.
“Tanzania needs a business friendly environment that attracts investment, both domestic and from abroad. A key part of this equation is making logistics cheaper and more effective,” emphasized the Finnish Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Pekka Hukka.
TradeMark Africa Board Chair Ali Mufuruki noted that the high transit times and costs in the region are impacting the region negatively. For Tanzania and the region to attract investments, these impediments to growth must be addressed. “I want to thank the Finnish government for their support under TMA Strategy 1 whose focus has been to invest in projects which have resulted in decreasing transit costs for business and an improved business environment. We applaud the new Government of Tanzania administration’s zeal to modernise Dar Port and the Central Corridor, driving economic growth and job creation.” Said Mr. Mufuruki.
His view was reiterated by TradeMark Tanzania Country Director Dr. Josephat Kweka, who noted this support is expected to improve Tanzania’s trade competitiveness and increase its profile as an investment destination within the East African Community. “Facilitating regional trade is an effective means to alleviate poverty,” said Dr. Kweka.
“The Finnish government is an important partner in promoting regional and economic integration in East Africa.This investment in supporting these projects is the catalyst needed to bring prosperity to the region,” TMA and its partners work to reduce the costs of transport to and within East Africa which in turn is expected to reduce the costs of imports and grow private sector commerce and government revenues. Finland and Tanzania are long-term partners in development cooperation. In addition to supporting sustainable economic growth, Finland works with Tanzania in sectors of good governance and natural resources, with special attention to forestry.

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.