December 6th, 2017 – Norway on Wednesday December 6th granted 50 million Norwegian Kroners (equivalent to 13.4 billion Tanzanian shillings) to TradeMark Africa (TMA) to support its work in enhancing trade across the East African Community to increase prosperity in the region.

The agreement was signed by the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Her Excellency Hanne-Marie Kaarstad and Ali Mufuruki, Board Chair of TradeMark Africa. Witnessing the signing was the Head of Cooperation at the Norwegian Embassy, Trygve Bendiksby and John Ulanga, Country Director, TMA Tanzania.

Norway’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 Norwegian 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 goal of poverty reduction.

Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, HE Hanne-Marie Kaarstad said: “TradeMark Africa is a new partner of the Norwegian Embassy. Over the last six years, the Embassy has watched with great interest as TradeMark Africa has carried out its important and challenging work. With ambitious goals and large programmes in six East African countries, TradeMark Africa has taken on the task of breaking down barriers to trade in the region. The results that TradeMark Africa have delivered so far are impressive. We look forward to be an active partner.”

TradeMark Africa is making a huge difference to reducing the high barriers to trade in East Africa.Since starting its operations in Tanzania in the year 2011, TMA has supported partners such as Tanzania Ports Authority, Tanzania Revenue Authority, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority and Tanzania Bureau of Standards to improve their capacity and efficiency in facilitating trade. After the work done by TMA and its partners to reduce infrastructure barriers, border delays and reducing red tape, we have witnessed an increase in efficiency by at least 50 percent. In an era of doubts about the value for money of aid, TMA stands out as a programme that has delivered real impact for real businesses and people. TMA has made this happen by focusing on addressing bottlenecks and automating trade processes.

TMA which is embarking on its new strategy covering the period 2017-2023. Strategy 2 offers largescale transformative impact, building on gains made to date but recognising the substantial potential gains that can still be made. This Strategy will contribute to an impact of US$0.6 billion of additional trade in East Africa. This will, in turn, contribute to sustainable, inclusive prosperity by adding US$4.7 billion to the region’s GDP, creating and sustaining more than 0.7 million additional jobs, lifting more than 1.8 million people out of poverty, generating an additional U$1.1 billion of tax revenue, and creating over US$0.64 billion of additional economic welfare gains for the region.

TradeMark Africa Board Chair Ali Mufuruki noted TMA has made a huge difference to reducing the high barriers to trade in East Africa since its inception in 2010.

TMA is proud of its contribution to improving trading environment in Tanzania since we started our operations in Tanzania in 2011. For example, we have supported Tanzania Revenue Authority to construct One Stop Border Posts at Holili, Mutukula and Kabanga which has resulted in reduction of border crossing times by at least 50 percent. Our support to TFDA has resulted in reduction of import and export permit processing time from at least 48 hours to an average of 2 hours. We look forward to increasing the pace of growth and creating much needed jobs in East Africa through this Norwegian support” Said Mr. Mufuruki.

TradeMark Tanzania Country Director John Ulanga added the support to TMA Tanzania is expected to improve its trade competitiveness and increase its profile as an investment destination within the East African Community.

The Norwegian government is an important partner in promoting regional and economic integration in East Africa. 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. This investment in supporting these projects is the catalyst needed to bring prosperity to the region, and Tanzania specifically” said John Ulanga.