Mombasa – October 31st, 2013
The Netherlands Government will help boost regional economic growth through smoother and cheaper trade by announcing a $27.5 million grant to TradeMark Africa ( TMA ). Speaking during the contribution agreement signing ceremony at Mombasa port, the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Ms Lilianne Ploumen said:

“The Netherlands has been a major donor of TradeMark Africa (TMA) since it was set up in 2011. Because of its success so far, it is my pleasure to announce that the Netherlands will renew its contribution to TradeMark Africa. This additional core investment underlines the Netherlands’ commitment to East African integration. The work of TradeMark revolves around the notion that trade drives economic development, and development lifts people out of poverty. The synergies between trade, economic development and poverty eradication are at the heart of the new policy agenda of the Netherlands. TradeMark has shown the enormous gains that can be achieved in East Africa by removing barriers to trade. The Netherlands strongly supports the inclusive growth that is central to TradeMark’s interventions.”

Speaking at the signing ceremony, TradeMark CEO Frank Matsaert noted that trade infrastructure is critical to East Africa’s prosperity, and in creating the much needed jobs in the region. Currently East Africa’s trade corridors are characterised by long transit times and high costs. Freight costs per kilometre are more than 50% higher than costs in the United States and Europe, and for the landlocked countries, transport costs can be as high as 45% of the value of exports. “The Netherlands government continues to be a key partner in promoting regional and economic integration in East Africa. We thank them sincerely for their support to our work. TradeMark Africa will continue to focus its efforts on increasing trade and prosperity in East Africa, primarily through investing where there will be the biggest impact for East Africa’s people and the private sector. Facilitating regional trade is an effective means to alleviate poverty and create welfare. This investment in supporting these projects is the catalyst needed to bring about prosperity to the region,” He said. Part of the investment will go towards upgrading of berths at the Mombasa Port, which will in turn help improve the Ports productivity. As a lifeline port to the country and its landlocked neighbours, it is extremely vital towards unlocking the economic potential of the region. Mombasa Port currently handles approximately 20 million tons of cargo with volumes expected to rise by 400% by 2030. The investment will also go towards improving access to markets.

Mombasa – October 31st, 2013 – The Netherlands Government will help boost regional economic growth through smoother and cheaper trade by announcing a $27.5 million grant to TradeMark Africa ( TMA ).

TradeMark Africa (TMA) is supporting the Government of South Sudan to construct a one stop border post (OSBP) at Nimule on the border between Uganda and South Sudan and implement streamlined customs procedures between the two countries (referred to as ‘integrated border management’). Growth in regional trade is forecast to dramatically increase demand for services at Mombasa port in the next decade, according to projections by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). If further developed and operated efficiently, the port can unlock the economic potential of the region. But if undeveloped and operated poorly, it can constrain the region’s growth, transport economists say. The Government of the Netherlands is one of the main contributors to TradeMark Africa (TMA) programmes. Other programmes to be supported by the package announced today include:

  • Support PSOs and CSOs to engage in constructive dialogue and stimulate shared commitment to EAC processes. This support is also extended to informal traders and vulnerable groups so that they also benefit from enhanced cross-border trade
  • Support of women traders to ensure that the benefits of reduced crossing are also embraced by women traders

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.