Denmark commits $17.5m to support Kenya’s green trade efforts
The Government of Denmark, represented by its Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Ole Thonke, reiterated its commitment to support green trade and the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the East African region, with two financial agreements of $17.5 million.
The funding will be channelled through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), a leading Aid for Trade organisation renowned for partnering with Eastern African governments to reduce barriers to trade through automation and adoption of sustainable physical infrastructures such as One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), ports among others.
In the two agreements, $14.5 million will support Kenya’s efforts to transition to Green Trade and creating sustainable jobs under the Denmark and Kenya Strategic Framework for 2021 to 2025. The second agreement of $3 million will support continued response to COVID-19 under TradeMark East Africa’s Safe Trade Emergency Facility (Safe Trade) Programme.
With the green trade funding of $14.5 million, TMEA will partner with government institutions and private sector in adopting sustainable and efficient transport and infrastructure for reduced barriers to trade, improving trading standards and sanitary and phytosanitary issues and improving business competitiveness in Kenya. The new funding will build up on results that have been achieved in previous programmes funded by Denmark including, support to non-motorised transport in the ongoing construction of Mbaraki Road, in Mombasa to include construction of storm water drainage facilities for climate change adaptation, installation of street lighting, construction of foot paths, walkways, and access ramps to enhance movement and safety of people living with disabilities.
In automation, Denmark’s funding will ensure that government agencies in partnership with TMEA ramp up digitisation efforts of key trade processes to reduce use of paper and time taken to trade. Results have been banked from previous support. For example, East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA) completed and started use of the Integrated Tea Trade System thus automating Mombasa Tea Auction, the second largest black tea auction in the world.
As a result, tea producers from 10 countries in Eastern African can now offer their teas electronically from their countries (without need to travel or congregating at the auction floor); and all documentation for teas sold through the auction is now paperless. The automated system, which will officially be launched later this year, enables the tea sector achieve efficiency positioning it as a competitive auction, and will reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65 percent from the current 45 to 60 days to less than a month.
Denmark’s support to TMEA’s Safe Trade, that is being implemented in 10 countries, will enable continuous efforts to provide essential services at the key entry and exit points while keeping front line border workers safe. Safe Trade has ensured collaboration to combat COVID-19 through provision of platform for COVID-19 response by public and private partners, partnering with the EAC in leading the regional dialogues and policy interventions, provision of protective equipment, supporting roll-out and uptake of the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS), construction of safe trade zones for women traders across various borders.