UK’s £ 211million investment in phase two of TradeMark East Africa to grow exports, create jobs and reduce poverty in the region
26-01-2018 06:48:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 13031 | Tags:

Visiting UK Secretary for International Development, Penny Mordaunt has announced a new package of support to TradeMark East Africa for implementation of its Strategy2.

The UK is significantly scaling up its support to trade and regional integration across East Africa, now providing a total of £ 211m to the second phase of TradeMark East Africa.

This will increase sustainable and shared prosperity in East Africa and specifically invest in improving the efficiency and capacity of transport, logistics and trade infrastructure at key port and border points, invest in systems to improve trading standards, reduce non-tariff barriers and enhance transparency in trade processes, improve the regulatory and policy environment for trade and support private sector advocacy for trade competitiveness, the export capacity of East African businesses and the greater participation of women and small and growing businesses in trade.

The UK’s Secretary for International Development, Penny Mordaunt made the announcement during her first official visit to Kenya as International Development Secretary.

During her 2-day visit Ms. Mordaunt toured programmes receiving UK aid including a cash transfer programme in Marsabit and Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) customs modernisation programmes in Nairobi.

At KRA, Mordaunt toured the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking system (RECTs) command centre and the new integrated Customs Management system (iCMS). Mordaunt was impressed that already, the first phase of the custom modernisation programme has reduced customs clearance time – from an average of nine to two days – consequently reducing cost of trading across the region.

She hailed the “incredible power of technology to deliver aid in new ways.”Ms Mordaunt was also in the country to hear from British business about how new technology has helped them tap into the Kenya market.

The UK is the fifth largest exporter of goods to Kenya and trade between the two countries is worth over £1 billion annually.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Here in Kenya technology is delivering UK aid in new ways, from innovative cash transfers using biometrics, through to trade technologies that support economic growth, jobs and investment. “It is in all our interests that we harness the best of British innovation with African entrepreneurialism – to create jobs, defeat poverty, and support our future trading partners, as we work towards a shared prosperous future.”

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has continued to show great progress since its inception in 2010. Several key results including reducing trade costs and supporting export growth, have been achieved with partners during its first strategy, from 2010 t0 2016, known as “Strategy 1”, that demonstrate the institution’s continued commitment to increasing intra-regional trade, deepening regional integration and building the region’s competitiveness.

TMEA Board Chair, Ali Mufuruki said: “Our new strategy from 2017 – 2023 (Strategy 2) will significantly reduce poverty and create jobs across East Africa and builds on our first phase which was completed in December 2017. I commend the UK government for its continued leadership in TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and this new support for Strategy2, affirms their commitment for driving the aid for trade agenda which delivers tangible results.”

TradeMark East Africa CEO, Frank Matsaert said: “TradeMark East Africa is making a huge difference to reducing the high barriers to trade in East Africa. When we started our work in 2010, it would take around 20 days to move a container from the port of Mombasa in Kenya to Kampala, Uganda’s capital some 1,200 kms distance.

After the work done by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and its partners to reduce infrastructure barriers, border delays and reducing red tape and corruption this has fallen to around 10 days, that’s half the time it took in just 7 years. Costs have also fallen by a third”

“Strategy 2 offers large-scale transformative impact, building on gains made to date but recognising the substantial potential gains that can still be made. This Strategy will contribute to creation of jobs, increased exports from the region and ultimately reduced poverty for East African citizens”

Strategy 2 offers large-scale 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.

www.trademarkea.com