International conference organisers are upbeat following the last week’s announcement of the new visa regime.
Under the new arrangement, travellers from across the world will from January 1, 2018, receive a 30-day visa on arrival at the country’s entry points.
The development comes at a time when countries across the world are closing their borders, with most citing reasons such as insecurity and influx of migrants. However, Rwanda is proceeding with the least taken path in regards to visa policy to increase openness. Read more. Source | New Times
Rwanda’s business community should take advantage of the recently installed modern infrastructure at Mombasa port to increase trade. Catherine Mturi-Wairi, the Kenya Ports Authority managing director, has said.
Mturi-Wairi said the authority is committed to facilitating regional trade through provision of efficient and convenient services, adding that they look to raise and sustain the port performance to world class standards.
“We are working on a plan that will further reduce unnecessary delays at the port. Already, we have expanded yards and berths to handle more cargo, revamped the ICT system for faster document processing, and modernized cargo handling equipment. Read more. Source | New Times
Maize export ban has been lifted, thanks to bumper harvests, which the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) can hardly drain.
The lifting of the June 2017 ban has come as a blessing to some needy East African countries and Tanzanian peasants who have been complaining over unreliable markets for their produce.
Agriculture Minister Dr Charles Tizeba, debating the 2018 fiscal budget draft and proposed National Development Plan in the National Assembly here yesterday, said the move follows an assessment on the current food stock against NFRA budget for maize purchase. Read more. Source | Daily News
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli will today officially launch the $12 million (Shs43.8 billion) Mutukula One Stop Border post (OSBP) facility that is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business.
The United Kingdom’s Development for International Development (DFID) funded the infrastructure component while the Canadian development agency and Global Affairs financed the operationalization of facility through Trademark East Africa.
The OSBP is a “one stop” form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighboring countries and where activities are streamlined to maximise efficiency. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Ministry of Trade has urged clearing agents and traders to embrace the Uganda Electronic Single Window System in order to speed up trade and customs clearance activities for goods and services.
The electronic single window, launched in 2016 by the ministry, is an online trade facilitation government initiative that, among others, enables international cross- border trade.
Through the system, traders are able to electronically submit their documents and information for clearance and certification to various government and regulatory agencies from a single location. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
All ‘One-Stop-Border’ posts (OSBPs) along borders separating the East African countries will be fully operational by next January 2018, An official at the EAC Secretariat confirmed here.
The East African region has identified 15 border posts in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania for conversion from ‘two-stop’ border posts into single premises entity or OSBPs to facilitate movement of people and goods across the region.
An official with the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat confirmed here yesterday that two mapped OSBPs in Longido, Tanzania and Kajiado in Kenya are scheduled for official launch by President John Magufuli. Read more. Source | Daily News
Improving connective infrastructure and removing policy to trade can help drive economic desertification, creation of new jobs and poverty reduction, the East African member states have been advised.
Speaking during a two-day workshop on the integrated corridor development initiative-Lake Tanganyka transport programme, Burundi’s Minister for Transport, Public Works and Equipment, Mr Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana said improvement of regional transport network will help to boost the regional economy.
“Improvement of transport network in sustainable manner is essential for competitive and improved integration into the region and global market,” he noted. The workshop took place over the weekend in Bujumbura, Burundi. Read more. Source | Daily News
Four years after its launch, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Tanzania are benefitting from quicker and cheaper payments through the East African Payment System (EAPS). Currently serving a population of more than 150 million people; and with Burundi soon to go live on the platform, what are the driving forces behind EAPS and what impact is it having on the region?
Lack of shared rules and regulations, cross-border trade tariffs and lack of infrastructure remain major barriers to economic growth in Africa. According to the World Bank, the African market remains highly fragmented, which limits the movement of goods, services and people across borders. The United National Economic Commission for Africa has also recently highlighted the need to boost intra-African trade to deliver development across the continent and speed up Africa’s economic transformation. Read more. Source | New Times
Policies that govern movement of persons and services on the continent must be tailored to the current needs of Africans, experts have urged.
The call was made yesterday in Kigali at the opening of a weeklong meeting on the adoption of an African Union procedure on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, seen as a critical forum to advance the continent’s goal on free movement of persons and their goods.
The gathering kicked off yesterday with a meeting of the AU’s Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced persons, who have a duty to deliberate on and draft several critical documents that will be adopted by African Ministers in charge of migration matters during their meetings on Friday and Saturday. Read more. Source | New Times
The cost of transporting a 40 foot (ft) container between Mombasa and Kampala, Kenya’s biggest transit trade market, has gone down 34.2 per cent in the last four years on the back of better roads, reduced police checks and efficiency at weighing points, a new report shows. Road freight costs decreased to Sh230,858 ($2,237) in 2016 from Sh350,880 in 2011.
Automation at weigh stations greatly enhanced efficiencies, shows the 2016 Logistic Performance Survey launched in Nairobi last week by the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA).
This comes at a time new rail transport under development in the region is expected to increase competition for road transporters. The standard gauge railway (SGR), which starts its freight services early next year will charge Sh51,650 ($500) to transport a 20ft container between Mombasa and Nairobi and Sh103,300 ($1,000) for a 40ft container. Read more. Source | Business Daily