TMA and MINICOM roll out programmes to improve Rwanda’s business environment and help local businesses compete internationally

  • MINICOM and TMA sign new USD 11.2Million deal to implement projects that will reduce barriers to trade at the policy and grassroots level
  • Funding is provided by United States Agency for International Development and UK’s Department for International Development  

Kigali, 19 June 2019:  TradeMark Africa (TMA) has committed to fund Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry with USD 11.2Million in support of programmes that will improve Rwanda’s regulatory environment to reduce barriers to trade.

The funding has been provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID)..

The announcement was made today during an MOU signing ceremony between TMA and MINICOM. The agreement with MINICOM is part of TMA’s USD 50Million programme with the government of Rwanda (GOR) that aims to support interventions that will improve the country’s competitiveness through investments in key sectors.

The two partners committed to build on ongoing interventions that have reduced barriers to trade like automation of key trade processes and upgrading of physical trade infrastructure.  Some of the new interventions will include the supporting trade and industry directorates to review and develop trade policies and strategies that will facilitate Rwanda private sector compete in global markets. This will be in addition to supporting National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to support the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements. The money will also be used for the construction and operationalization of cross border markets at Nkora, Rubavu, Rusizi, Burera and Karongi.

The authorities noted successes of its previous works, for example, Kigali Foods, a previous beneficiary of TMA interventions is now exporting mushrooms to Kenya and other international markets; a number of non-tariff barriers were eliminated creating a conducive environment for doing business across borders.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Trade and Industry Soraya Hakuziyaremye said;

TMA’s interventions during Phase I of its programme in Rwanda have largely shown very large returns. As an example, export growth has averaged 10.8% since 2010, finally reversing the trend in the growth of the trade deficit and driven in part by a 75% reduction in the time it takes for a container to reach the Port of Mombasa. Time and cost for transportation of containerized cargo have seen significant reduction with TMA intervention targeting elimination of NTBs and trade facilitation in general along the transport corridors within EAC’’.

On her part, Sarah Metcalf, the Head of Office of DFID Rwanda said “the UK Government is committed to supporting Rwanda’s journey towards self-reliance and promoting a private sector-led economy. This support to MINICOM will help improve the enabling environment for business, reduce barriers to trade and contribute to poverty reduction by enabling more Rwandans to benefit from trade.”

Leslie Marbury, USAID/Rwanda’s Mission Director commented, “We are delighted to partner with TradeMark Africa to advocate for both increased intra-regional trade and policies that will boost trade for Rwandan firms. We stand strongly behind the Ministry of Trade and Industry to support of the Government of Rwanda’s Economic Transformation Pillar of the National Strategy for Transformation.”

TMA’s Country Director, Patience Mutesi-Gatera remarked on the new partnership by highlighting the possibilities it presents; “We are grateful to the UKAID And USAID for remaining steadfast in their support of our mission to grow prosperity in Rwanda, and to the government of Rwanda for trusting us as a worthy partner. We are proud of some of the great impacts of some of the work we have done together.  Rwanda small businesses, like Kigali Mushrooms, whom we have worked with before, gained new markets in for example Kenya. Studies which you supported, and we undertook with our partners informed the establishment of Kigali Logistics Platform where Dubai’s DP World have now invested. It is such successes of impact that drive partnerships like the one we have signed today.”