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Cross Border Trade Made Easy Courtesy Of Rwanda Trade Portal

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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 (https://rwandatrade.rw/) 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.

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Germany, Rwanda Sign Rwf90B Financing Agreement

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Finance Minister, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, and the Germany Ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. Thomas Kurz, today signed two agreements worth € 78 million (Approximately Frw 90 billion).

The financing and technical cooperation agreement is the outcome of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations that were concluded last Year between our two respective Governments.

59 million Euros of the grant agreement will be provided through KFW Development Bank and will support various initiatives including technical and vocational training, promotion of export oriented SMEs, through the support to Export Credit Facility in Rwanda under BRD, promotion of green investments as well as ICT support.

The remaining Euros19 million will be channeled through GIZ and will support decentralization and good governance, prevention of sexual and gender based violence among others.

Speaking after the signing event, Minister Ndagijimana said the financial support extended to Rwanda will support key areas that are critical to the attainment of the country’s development objectives.

“This support comes at a critical juncture given the effects COVID-19 has had on our social –economic advancement. We look forward to boosting these important areas that are in line with our National Strategy for Transformation. We thank Germany for the strong cooperation and solidarity especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,“ Minister Ndagijimana said.

Ambassador Kurz stressed: “These Agreements underline the long-standing and proven cooperation between our two countries based on friendship and mutual trust. Germany is committed to support Rwanda in its Economic Recovery Process and the implementation of NST 1 in order to reach the SDGs and to leave no one behind.”

The Division of Labor allows Germany development cooperation programme to be active in Education (including TVET); Decentralization and Good Governance, Private Sector Development and Youth; Public Financial Management (PFM); Financial Development. Germany also supports Regional Projects: Centre of Excellence for Health, Improvement of the Investment Climate, Microfinance sector-MIFSSA, ICGLR and Energy.

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Malawi Issues 86 Licenses For Cannabis Production

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Malawi’s Cannabis Regulatory Authority said on Friday they had issued 86 licenses to 35 companies and cooperatives to venture into cannabis cultivation for industrial hemp production.

Boniface Kadzamila the Board Chairman of Cannabis Regulatory Authority made the announcement from Lilongwe on Friday afternoon.

He said that a total of 41 companies applied but only 35 of them satisfied the requirements.

According to him the authority has issued licenses for cultivation, processing and storage and has not yet issued any license for export of cannabis.

A recent analysis by Invegrow Limited, one of the firms that conducted research on industrial hemp, found that a kilogram of industrial hemp could fetch U$1,444 on the market that there is potential for direct annual benefit for Malawians in excess of U$ 135,440,973 on 16.5 hectares or U$8,803,663 per five hectares.

The analysis further indicated that the crop has ready markets whose global value chain is worth U$9billion thus giving local Malawi investors a basis to take up cannabis production.

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ex-Nakumatt CEO’s Home Auctioned

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Atul Shah, the former chief executive officer of the collapsed retail giant Nakumatt lost his home to auctioneers over a U$18,609,740 debt.

The auction follows the conclusion of a protracted court battle after the Kenyan High Court dismissed a petition seeking to overturn the forced sale of the high-end property by KCB Group.

Justice Francis Tuiyott dismissed the petition by the administrator of the collapsed Supermarket chain, saying it has no chance of success.

Nakumatt’s court-appointed administrator had opposed the sale on grounds that the auction failed to follow the law, and tagged Mr Shah as an interested party to suit.

The bank, through Leakey Auctioneers, early in the year quietly sold the property, which Mr Shah had used as additional security as Nakumatt’s guarantor to offer comfort to the multiple bank loans.

“This court is not persuaded that the suit, as currently presented, demonstrates a prima facie case with a probability of success. Being unable to surmount that hurdle, it is needless for this court to discuss other aspects raised in the application,” the judge said.

KCB had earlier sold Mr Shah’s prime property in Industrial Area, Nairobi, to Furniture Palace International Ltd for about U$9,677,064 court records show.

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