Revenue authorities in Uganda and DR Congo bet on digital infrastructure to enhance trade
The DR Congo Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDA) and the Ugandan Revenues Authority (URA) have signed the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) standards operating procedures, marking the launch of the RECTs control centre extension to DRC cargo.
This project is facilitated by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) through a $642,000 fund from the Department of International Development (DFID). RECTs is now operational in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and now DRC.
The project will be implemented in three phases with the first phase being the launch of the Uganda Office, the second phase will be opening of the Goma office in eastern DRC while the final phase will be the launch of the Kinsasha command center.
The introduction of an electronic cargo tracking system to the Northern Corridor will decrease transit costs by reducing lengthy transit times caused by physical checks in transit countries and across the DRC territory.
The system will also reduce the risk of freight diversion between the place of origin and checkpoints. As a result, it will effectively combat fraud and increase the country’s tax revenues.
The RECTS will also benefit the eastern Africa region as a whole in which goods to or from DRC will transit including; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.
TMEA’s support to the initiative includes technical assistance for the assessment and understanding of needs and requirements for the system to be in place, as well as material assistance, spanning from the provision of the IT equipment and systems for a pilot DRC RECTS command center, launched today.
TMEA Country Director for the DRC Country Programme, Mr. Aimé Nzoyihera emphasized the importance of digital infrastructure and added that, “TMEA remains committed to facilitating reduced barriers to trade in the region, particularly through enhancement of digital infrastructure which will promote increased trade in the Eastern Africa region.”