Trademark East Africa (TMEA) and Rwanda have signed a new US$11.2 million deal to ease trade in the country.
Both sides say the funding will enable Rwanda to eliminate hindrances to trade and instead accerelate employment.
The funding will be spent in implementing projects that will reduce barriers to trade at the policy and grassroots level.
The funds are provided by US Agency for International Development and UK’s Department for International Development.
The deal was signed by both the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), Michael Sebera, and TMEA Country Director, Patience Mutesi Gatera.
MINICOM says that the funding will also be used for constructing markets at Rwanda’s borders in Rubavu, Rusizi, Burera and Karongi districts as well as developing the markets to enable traders to exploit them.
It is part of $57 million funding that TMEA promised to give to Rwanda through the ministry in March 2018, intended to promote trade in the country and East Africa, especially by eliminating trade barriers.
Mutesi said that TMEA’s funding will enable Rwanda to achieve its target of raising the value of its exports by 17% every year in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).
She told journalists that the deal signed falls into 6 phases, including the one for the establishment of improved trade strategies which will “boost exports because we wish to establish strategies that favour self-employed individuals.”
TMEA has been already assisting Rwanda in various trade development programs and ease of investments which showed important returns in boosting the country’s exports, according to Sebera.
“TMEA’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 container to reach the Port of Mombasa,” he noted.
He added that the time and cost for transportation of containerized cargo have seen significant reduction with TMEA intervention targeting elimination of NTBs and trade facilitation in general along the transport corridors within East Africa.