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:
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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
Published on May 03, 2017
Dicksons Kateshumbwa, chairman of the EAC Committee on Customs, said turnaround time has been reduced from 21 days to 3-5 days on average between the entry points to Kampala in Uganda, Kigali in Rwanda, and Bujumbura in Burundi.
The six-member EAC is implementing a number of customs projects, including the SCT, transforming the way of doing business for the benefit of EAC members economies.
“Capacity building and sensitization to support the SCT has been done and is ongoing,” Kateshumbwa told a news conference in Dar es Salaam. Read more. Source | Coast Week
Published on April 18, 2017
There is need to expedite seed regulation harmonisation programme in the COMESA region to help increase access to quality and improved seeds by farmers and boost production and household incomes as well as ensure the bloc is food secure, experts have said.
According to Argent Chuula, the chief executive officer of the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) at COMESA, lack of quality seed contributes significantly to food insecurity and nutrition deficiency in the region as only a handful of countries are food secure. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on April 12, 2017
Traders, especially women, are experiencing Customs delays and roadblocks that hinder export of goods across regional borders. This is despite it being almost seven years after the East African Community started implementing the Common Market Protocol.
A new study on non-tariff barriers facing Ugandan women trading in East Africa found that open borders as proposed in the Customs Union and Common Market protocols have not been realised.
Some of the challenges the traders face include problems with the Asycuda system, which rarely functions leading to wasted time. Asycuda is a computerised Customs management system that handles manifests and Customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures. Read more. Source | East African
Published on March 29, 2017
The East African Community is developing a Regional Training Curriculum to support the operationalization of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) within the bloc. The training curriculum is a major capacity building tool for OSBPs in the region.
In a 20th - 24th March meeting, with the support of GIZ - African Union Border Program (AUBP), currently underway in Kigali, Rwanda, Partner States’ experts from the Revenue and Immigration Authorities are developing the tool, which aims at training the OSBP officers on the rules and ways to operate in their different positions at their different posts in cooperation and coordination with their different counterparts. Read more. Source | East African Community
Published on February 22, 2017
The newly operational One Stop Border Post (OSBP) facilities at the Rwanda-Ugandan border at Kagitumba, Nyagatare district has reduced clearance time by 25 percent, officials said.
An OSBP is a "one stop" form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighboring countries, with officials from host and neighboring country sitting under one roof on either side of the border.
This allows travelers to stop only once at the country of destination, where their travel or other documents are stamped both exit (from country of origin official) and entry (by country of destination official) at the same time, thus the "One Stop". Read more. Source | Coast Week