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Cross Border Trade Made Easy Courtesy Of Rwanda Trade Portal




Cross border traders can now engage in export and import trade with ease particularly during the hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the Rwanda trade portal.

Traders say the portal has significantly reduced time taken to accessing export and import trade information.

The Rwanda Trade Portal ( is an online platform that was launched in March 2018, and is implemented by Rwanda Revenue Authority under the supervision of the National Trade Facilitation Committee.

It provides a comprehensive, single-point access to user-centric information needed to trade in and out of Rwanda: at its core, a database of procedures provides step-by- step guides to imports, exports and transit, including formalities such as licenses, permits and customs clearance.

The portal was developed to fulfill Article 1 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, requiring member states to publish their trade procedures online, displaying them step-by-step, with contact information on enquiry points, fees and access to forms.

The purpose is help traders reduce both financial and time costs that they often incurred while moving to and from various places to seek information related to different trade procedures.

According to Dr. Theoneste Sikubwabo from Uzima Chicken, who has been using the portal since its launch, the benefits are immense.

He emphasized the significant change this portal has had on the company’s trading procedures.

“We started using the Rwanda Trade Portal right after its launch and we are proud of the significant change we have since realized, particularly the increase in revenues simply because we were saved of the unnecessary costs we used to incur while moving to and from places to inquire about some trade information or acquire various certifications which we currently access either on phone or computer from the comfort of our seats, thanks to the portal,” says Theoneste.

Concorde Kananura, a consultant with UNCTAD, who is also among the lead developers of the portal, mentiined other benefits of using the portal.

“In addition to bringing more transparency to trade related information, the Trade Portal empowers government officials, namely members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee, to evaluate the complexity of trade procedures and identify simplification measures,” he said.

So far, 28 trade related procedures have been simplified, making it faster and cheaper to do cross-border trade with Rwanda.

Concorde added that for each procedure, the system shows all the steps the trader will go through, each containing: What you will get, who to see: entity/unit/officer in charge, with contact information, what to bring: requirements (forms and documents), what to pay/costs, how long it takes/duration in the queue, at the counter and in between steps, why it is necessary/legal justification for each step, who to complain to/ recourse procedures in case of complaints, with contact data, as well as the Authority certifying that the step is correctly described, among others.

Currently, there are about 128 procedures, 203 laws and regulations published on the portal with a lot more information including institutional contacts of focal staff to provide online support.

The site also registers up to 4,000 visits a month and the number keeps growing as the team expands the coverage of the Trade Portal to encompass an increasing number of commodities.

The Rwanda Trade Information Portal is connected to the Global Trade Helpdesk, an ITC, UNCTAD, and WTO initiative.

Discover a world of trade opportunities in one place with detailed information about imports, market dynamics, tariffs, regulatory requirements, potential buyers and more.



Mozambique Scandal: Credit Suisse & U.S. Conclude Deal



Credit Suisse Group AG is nearing an agreement with the U.S. government that would resolve a criminal probe regarding its role in a U$2 billion Mozambique bond scandal, according to people familiar with the matter.

The discussions with the U.S. Justice Department involve a deferred prosecution agreement that would include a fine, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential. An agreement is expected to be announced Tuesday.

Any deal with U.S. prosecutors would be the latest action in a multi-year, international legal saga arising out of the 2013-14 deals that were supposed to fund a new coastal patrol force and tuna fishing fleet in Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries.

In a 2018 indictment, the U.S. Justice Department alleged the contracts were a front for government officials and bankers to enrich themselves.

Three former Credit Suisse bankers have pleaded guilty to U.S. charges stemming from the scheme.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on any agreement, as did the U.S. Justice Department.

A deal could help put to bed one scandal, even as the bank has been punished this year by investors for its stumbles with Archegos Capital Management and Greensill Capital, which have spurred broad management shakeups.

Mozambique has filed suit against Credit Suisse and shipbuilder Privinvest, one of several cases in U.K. courts that involve the bond deal.

Unlawful Conduct’

In defending its London lawsuit, Credit Suisse has insisted that it was deceived by rogue bankers and couldn’t be held responsible for their “unlawful conduct” when it arranged the loans in early 2013.

The Swiss bank has said it carried out its usual due diligence before the transactions and was aware of the risk of bribery and corruption.

Andrew Pearse, who led the global financing group in the bank’s London office, testified at a federal trial in Brooklyn, New York that he’d pocketed at least U$45 million in illicit payments for his role in the arrangement of the loans.

The Credit Suisse loans were for three separate maritime projects including a tuna fishing fleet, the building of a shipyard and surveillance operation to protect Mozambique’s coastline and protect against pirates, according to Pearse.

Mozambican government officials, corporate executives and investment bankers stole about U$200 million, prosecutors said.

Both Pearse and his successor at the bank, Surjan Singh, who also pleaded guilty, testified at the 2019 trial of Jean Boustani, a Privinvest Group executive accused by the U.S. of being behind the plan to get Mozambique to borrow billions of dollars and overpay for dubious maritime projects.

A third banker, Datelina Subeva, Pearse’s subordinate, also pleaded guilty but didn’t testify.

All three bankers await sentencing. After a six-week trial in late 2019, a federal jury cleared Boustani of all charges.


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DRC Opposition Protests Against Phone Tax



Martin Fayulu, DRCs leader of opposition coalition LAMUKA has called upon all citizens to take to the streets and demand for the abolition of a controversial mobile phone tax.

In June 2020, the DRC government set up – through the ICT, Post and Telecoms Ministry – a CEIR system (Central Equipment Identification Register), with the aim to fight fake devices and the theft of mobile devices.

However, Telephony mobile users claim the Mobile Device Registry (RAM), a controversial new tax is robbing them of their units and making them poorer.

In terms of RAM, mobile operators are cutting a big chunk of units monthly from their customers’ mobile devices, which many users believe is too high and unnecessary.

“We are calling for the immediate withdrawal of RAM. Because it’s theft, a scam. That no one is demobilized. Let’s march and denounce it because it is outright  theft. Once withdrawn, all money collected must be returned, ”said Martin Fayulu.

During a meeting this Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Kinshasa, Martin Fayulu called for the outright abolition of this fee.

During the rally, the leader of Lamuka pinpointed other topical issues, including the issue of appointing the leaders of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

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Tanzania’s Economy Records 4.3% Expansion in 2nd Quarter



Tanzania’s economic outlook seems very impressive as the country registered a 4.3% expansion between April and June according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Compared to the country’s economic performance in the same period last year, there has been a 0.3% upward expansion.

Briefing the media on Friday, Daniel Masolwa NBS Director of Economics Statistics, said, “Real GDP increased to Shs 33.4trillion from Shs 32trillion in the corresponding period in 2020, an equivalent to a 4.3% growth,” he said.

During the second Quarter of 2020, Tanzania’s economy registered the lowest growth rate of 4.0% since 2017 mainly due to the devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic following the introduction of lockdowns and many countries to mitigate spread of this pandemic.

However, Masolwa tried to cool down any skepticism saying, the annual economic growth in 2021 is projected at a 5.0% rate. In terms of economic activities, he  said, during the period under review, information and communication attained the highest growth of 12.3%, followed by electricity generation at 12.1%.

Meanwhile, other services include arts and entertainment and households as employers (10.8%), accommodation and food services (10.1%), water (8.4%), and mining and quarrying (7.3%).

According to Masolwa, the expansion of economy by 4.3% during the second Quarter of 2021 was spearheaded by key drivers of growth which include Agriculture (13%), transport and storage (8.4%), trade and maintenance (8.1%), manufacturing (7.6%) and construction (7.1%).

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