The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub works to promote a more predictable, transparent and enabling business environment in East Africa, conducive to trade competitiveness and accelerated investment. Over the course of five years, activities under this component will achieve a 100 percent increase in the value of intra-regional trade in the EAC by advancing the implementation of the principles of regional integration, and enabling partner states to comply with intra-regional and international trade agreements and conformity to international standards.
The Hub team works closely with a network of private businesses, investment firms and trade associations, as well as other development partners, to gather, collate and assess evidence for trade policy and regulatory reform. It then initiates dialogue with policy makers and regulators.
Over the last two years, the Hub’s trade policy and regulatory reform activities helped achieve a 39% increase in intra-regional trade within the EAC. Hub activities supported the acceleration of the compliance by the EAC Partner States with the U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement, implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol (CMP) and enabling policies for an improved business ecosystem.
Under the U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement, the Hub has supported both regional and national level WTO TBT and SPS compliance. With Hub's support, all EAC Partner States adopted the ePing electronic notification system (ENS); ENS meets the obligation for notification under the Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, SPS and TBT (an agreement that requires EAC Partner States to establish an effective process to ensure that they notify proposed measures on TBT and SPS to other WTO members). ePing will also allow the Partner States to access other WTO members' TBT and SPS measure notifications, and facilitate dialogue among the public and private sector in addressing potential trade problems at an early stage. Currently, both Uganda and Rwanda have adopted the ePing system, with Tanzania and Kenya agreeing in principle to use the system. Watch the video below:
Related Blogs and Resources
Published on July 05, 2017
On February 22, the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) finally came into force after being negotiated for nearly 10 years. The agreement which tasks 164 members of WTO to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms globally and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole, according experts.
Rosine Uwamariya, the customs operations manager at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), said the operationisation of the agreement is an opportunity for Rwanda to enhance its trade procedures and become more competitive.
“TFA calls for implementation of simple, harmonised and modernised international border procedures, which is key for cross-border trade,” she noted. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on July 05, 2017
Cases of informal cross-border traders using dangerous methods and routes to move their goods across the regional borders are many. As a result, those involved in informal cross-border trade, many of whom are women, live a risky life.
Despite the difficulties the informal cross-border traders go through, they barely make enough money as most of their proceeds end up being used in facilitating movements of their merchandises across the borders. And in many cases they fall prey to thugs and even unscrupulous border officials who intimidate and harass them before confiscating their produces on the flimsiest of reasons. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on June 28, 2017
Towards the Comprehensive Review of the EAC CET is a policy brief published by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub.
The publication contains key recommendations that will lead to successful establishment of a Common Externat Tarriff (CET) on goods imported into the partner states from foreign countries in the East Africa Community (EAC).
Published on June 28, 2017
Policy Brief on Enhancing Kenya's Services Sector is a publication by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub.
The publication contains key recommendations on policies that require amendment in order to improve the services sector, which has and continues to play a crucial role in Kenya's economic development.
Published on June 14, 2017
Rwanda Revenue Authority is primed to adopt a multi-lateral transit framework that allows goods in transit to be cleared by customs, with the payment of duties and taxes suspended until they are cleared at final destination.
The Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) system, officials at RRA said, will greatly boost the drive toward regional integration
According to Raphael Ugirumuremyi, the commissioner for customs services at RRA, Rwanda has since realised commendable progress in trade facilitation since the removal of non-tariff barriers by the East African region—but “some challenges” still exist, hence the need to further look into “possible solution”. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on June 12, 2017
With intra-EAC trade on the decline, businesses are pushing for the harmonisation of standards for more products which would facilitate market access and improve the competitiveness of exporters in the region.
The East Africa Business Council says that harmonising the standards of most commonly traded goods in the region will increase trade volumes because goods will cross borders without being subjected to multiple testing.
While 94 standards have been harmonised, many products are still subjected to different quality standards. Read more. Source | East African
Published on May 31, 2017
Regional countries should always consider gender in policy formulation and implementation, as well as in the negotiations of trade and other agreements because it is key to economic growth, Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD Secretary General, has said.
Speaking during the launch of an online training course for COMESA countries on the “links between trade and gender” on Monday, Kituyi said mainstreaming gender would ensure equity and inclusion in the region’s development agenda.
The training would focus on the interactions between trade and gender and their links to the Common Market for East and Southern African (COMESA) countries’ inclusive development strategies, as well as the influence of trade integration on gender outcomes in different economic sectors among member countries. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on May 17, 2017
The secretary general of World Customs Organisation Kunio Mirukiya has called for combined efforts towards boosting intra-African trade, proposing a number of reforms to ensure customs facilitate trade within the region.
“First is infrastructure at borders because what is lacking is systems that can facilitate movement of goods and people. Customs should coordinate border management, have one stop border post or a single window and more security by collaboration is what Africa should be looking at,” Mr Mirukiya said at the 22nd World Customs Organisation East and South Africa council governing meeting in Kampala last Thursday.
The meeting that attracted 22 countries from East and South Africa was aimed at looking at how best customs can facilitate trade and creating a platform for countries to collaborate and fight mutual challenges within the region. According to Mr Tom Moyane, the commissioner of South African Revenue Service, intra-African trade is an opportunity for the continent to look at the comparative advantage and economies of scale it can enjoy. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor