Rwanda and TMA sign MOU renewing partnership

TradeMark Africa (TMA) will support interventions in Rwanda for an additional period of 6 years with an initial budget of US$ 53 Million.

Kigali, March 20th, 2018: TradeMark Africa and the Government of Rwanda signed an MOU extending their partnership to 2023. In the MOU, the two have committed to support interventions that will lead to creation of at least 100,000 jobs in Rwanda, poverty reduction and increase trade for Rwanda.

The MOU marks the commencement of TMA’s second phase of interventions which will be implemented between 2018-2023 and is valued at US$ 53 Million of which US$ 45 million has been contributed by the Belgium, UK and USA governments through their development agencies. The remaining US$ 8 Million to be mobilised within the next 2 years in partnership with other development partners. Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Amb. Claver Gatete, represented the Government of Rwanda. TMA was represented by its CEO, Frank Matsaert.

TMA, an aid-for-trade organisation working in reducing barriers to trade in East Africa and improving business competitiveness, first signed an MOU with the Rwanda government in 2011. Within this, the organisation partnered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the former Ministry of EAC Affairs, Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Rwanda Standards Board, Private Sector Federation, Profemmes Twese Hamwe among others to facilitate infrastructure projects, ICT projects, capacity building, export development projects among others.

In its second phase, TMA commits to work with Government and private partners to support construction of harbour facilities at Rubavu and Rusizi ports of Lake Kivu and support the government’s industrial park development strategy. It will extend its work in supporting quality standards in key export sectors like honey, tea, coffee, meat and horticulture, automation of trade processes and work in facilitating trade nationally and beyond Rwanda’s borders. The organisation will also deepen its support for women in trade with a focus on building capacity of women traders.  All these efforts, remarked the group CEO Frank Matsaert, “…will contribute to creation of additional employment opportunities as investors capitalise in the transport and manufacturing sectors and export growth. Our second phase – will consolidate successes achieved by our partners and innovate around lessons we have learned so far.   What we will have is a leaner, more efficient programme that will deliver at least 100,000 jobs for the people of Rwanda in 6 years.”

Speaking at the event the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete noted, “Trademark East Africa is one of our valued partners. We commend it for its speed of implementation and willingness to listen to and respond to our priorities. TMA’s new strategy augers well with government plans of raising Rwanda’s profile and increasing our export competitiveness.”

In its first phase (2010-2017) TMA partnered with the government of Rwanda in the construction of the Kagitumba One Stop Border Post, the development of the Rwanda Electronic Single Window and the Rwanda Electronic Cargo Tracking System and catalysing investments towards development of the Kigali Logistics Platform. A recent evaluation of TMA’s first phase of programming in Rwanda indicates a 28% return on investment (ROI) and that the interventions induced US $ 100 million worth of trade.

As a result, the cost for transporting containers from Mombasa to Kigali have reduced from $6,500 in 2011 to $4,800 in 2017 saving Rwanda approximately $7 million. Support to quality standards delivered a 50% reduction on costs of standards testing and an 85% reduction in average testing time for mycotoxin, mineral content and essential oils – from 45 days in 2011 to 7 days. The single window has so far led to a 46% reduction in average time taken to clear goods from customs. Collectively, this means it takes less time and costs less to import and export products into or out of Rwanda and that has ensured prices of products have not increased exponentially. It has also ensured Rwanda products are competitive in the regional market.