Preparations are finalized for the Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development scheduled for this week in Kampala, Uganda, EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko has said.
Amb. Mfumukeko was speaking at the press conference held at the EAC Headquarters to update media on the upcoming Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat as well as 19th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State which will also be held in Kampala. Read more. Source | Daily News
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has stepped up efforts to promote cross-border trade by embracing e-commerce to be able to “minimise physical barriers”. to trade across the region. Dr Francis Mangeni, the COMESA director of trade and customs, said that trade facilitation is a key priority for Africa, and a “digital free trade area (FTA) is a practical way of increasing intra-regional trade and creating wealth”.
Mangeni added that the online FTA will be rolled out soon enabling member states to trade commodities, goods and services without need to travel. Read more. Source | New Times
Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) expects to cut cargo clearance time at the Dar es Salaam Port to just 48 hours. The Dar Port now boasts a 35 storey one stop centre from which the entire cargo clearance process will be handled.
All cargo stakeholders will now operate under this single roof from TPA headquarters to offices of Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) all the way to clearing and forwarding agents. Read more. Source | The Exchange
The Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to guide the formation of an investment, trade and logistics hub in Jinja District as well as promote collaboration between the two organisations.
The logistics hub in Jinja is expected to boost economic growth, create employment and contribute towards sustainable and inclusive prosperity of the region by promoting the reduction of trade barriers and ensuring improved business competitiveness. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
his year, Africa’s Industrialization Day focused on raising awareness of the importance of African industrial development in implementing a successful Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), fostering economic growth, and alleviating poverty. A continent-wide endeavor, the CFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services in Africa.
On November 20, I spoke at a high-level conference organized in New York by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, and the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations to discuss how the CFTA and Africa’s industrialization go hand-in-hand for successful African growth. Read more. Source | Brookings
A campaign aimed at raising awareness about challenges faced by women traders in the region has been launched by Trademark East Africa (TMEA), a regional trade facilitation organisation.
The Women and Trade campaign will highlight trade opportunities for women in business in a bid to increase inclusion and equitable access to trade opportunities, the organisation said in a statement. Under the theme, “Empowering women, powering trade”, the campaign will see TMEA engage policy-makers, development partners, business associations and other stakeholders in the region and beyond to create an inclusive and enabling environment for women traders, according to the statement. Read more. Source | New Times
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