The Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Rwanda and the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Tanzania held a bilateral meeting on elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and promotion of Cross Border Trade in Kigali from 15th to 17th October 2012.

The Republic of Rwanda was represented by Hon. Kanimba François, Minister of Trade and Industry while the United Republic of Tanzania was represented by Hon. Gregory G. Teu (MP), Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade.

The Minister of Trade and industry, François Kanimba, while officially opening the meeting at MINICOM noted that this bilateral meeting comes at an opportune time for Rwanda as it seeks to address trade barriers and promote cross border trade between Tanzania and Rwanda as a way to implement the recently validated National Cross Border Trade Strategy and the National Strategy for elimination of NTBs.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry the importance of trade cooperation between Rwanda and Tanzania goes well beyond issues of bilateral trade. Rwanda and Tanzania are important trading partners with a firm commitment to increasing trade and cooperation.

According to statistics, Tanzania was Rwanda’s seventh largest trading partner in 2011 with total trade between the two countries accounting for 4% of Rwanda’s trade with the world and 17% of Rwanda’s intra-EAC trade. In 2011 the Rwanda market represented 2% of Tanzania’s exports. Total trade between the two countries has grown at an average of 56% per annum since Rwanda joined the EAC in 2007.

Rwanda is reliant on the central corridor, which crosses into Tanzania at the border crossing of Rusumo providing access to international markets. The Rusomo border is Rwanda’s largest border crossing. In 2011, 45% of Rwandan trade passed through Tanzania on the central corridor. A total of 23,659 trucks crossed Rusumo border carrying over US$ 1 billion worth of goods. By comparison, 18,380 trucks crossed at Gatuna, on the Northern Corridor, carrying over US$845 million worth of goods”, Minister Kanimba revealed.

He added that despite the above mentioned good performance of the central corridor in comparison with the northern corridor, both countries should cooperate in removing or reducing Non-Tariff Barriers still observed along the central corridor such as multiple road blocks, weigh bridges, and police check points adding to the time and cost of trading across borders.

On his part, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the United Republic of Tanzania indicated that the bilateral meeting will further strengthen trade relations between the two countries and also boost regional trade.

“We expect from this bilateral relations, our citizens from the two countries to trade between each other easily,” adding that the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers will reduce the costs of doing business between the two countries.

The meeting was ended by a signing of two agreements on elimination of NTBs and promotion of Cross Border Trade. A joint communiqué reflecting the resolutions of the meeting was also signed between the two Ministers. Among other resolutions, Rwanda and Tanzania agreed on the following issues relevant to elimination of NTB’s and promotion of Cross-Border Trade:

  • To jointly improve infrastructure and procedures at Rusumo border including fast-tracking construction of the One-Stop-Border-Post, establishing Trade Information Desks, ensuring reliable power and interfacing of the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Customs Information Technology systems using RADDEX
  • Tanzania to expedite ongoing projects to expand and modernize the port of Dar es Salaam and construction of a new port at Bagamoyo
  • Tanzania to expedite the process of extending 24-hour operations from Dar es Salaam to other borders to facilitate prompt clearance of goods
  • Tanzania to consult so that sealed containerized transit cargo and empty trucks can be weighed or checked only at the point of entry and at the point of exit for better trade facilitation
  • Tanzania to expedite the study on optimal number of weighbridges, road blocks and checkpoints whose results are expected in December 2012 so as to comprehensively resolve all issues related to delays caused by such interventions
  • Tanzania to ensure Isaka and Nyakahura are included in the programme of 24-hour operations for the smooth flow of goods from Isaka to Rusumo
  • Tanzania will issue Simplified Certificates of Origin for goods originating in the EAC Partner States free of charge
  • Rwanda will make a formal request to the Tanzanian Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development for adequate land within ten (10) kilometers from Dar es Salaam port.



To arrange for interviews please contact :

Vincent Safari
NMC Coordinator
Rwanda National Monitoring Committee on Non-Tariff Barriers (NMC on NTBs)
Phone: +250 788 30 23 13

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.