Kigali, March 20th, 2018: Government of Rwanda and TradeMark East Africa signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) extending their partnership to 2023. In the MoU, the two have committed to support interventions that will lead to job creation, poverty reduction and increase trade for Rwanda.
The MOU marks the commencement of TMEA’s second phase of interventions which will be implemented between 2018-2023 is valued at US$ 53 Million of which US$ 45 million has been contributed by the Belgium, UK and USA governments through their development agencies and the remaining US$ 8 Million to be mobilised within the next 2 years in partnership with other development partners. Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Amb. Claver Gatete, represented the Government of Rwanda.
TMEA commits to work with Government and private partners to support construction of harbour facilities at Rubavu and Rusizi ports of Lake Kivu and provide support to the government in the implementation of its industrial park development strategy. It will extend its work in supporting implementation of quality standards in key export sectors like honey, tea, coffee, meat and horticulture, automation of trade processes and work in facilitating trade nationally and beyond Rwanda’s borders. The organisation will also deepen its support for women in trade with a focus on building capacity of women traders.
Speaking at the event the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete noted, “Trademark East Africa is one of our valued partners. We commend it for its speed of implementation and willingness to listen to and respond to our priorities. TMEA’s new strategy augers well with government plans of raising Rwanda’s profile and increasing our export competitiveness.”
Frank Matsaert, TMEA’s group CEO said, “All these efforts will contribute to creation of additional employment opportunities as investors capitalise in the transport and manufacturing sectors and export growth. Our second phase - will consolidate successes achieved by our partners and innovate around lessons we have learned so far. What we will have is a leaner, more efficient programme that will deliver at least 100,000 jobs for the people of Rwanda in 6 years.”
In its first phase (2010-2017) TMEA partnered with the government of Rwanda in the construction of the Kagitumba One Stop Border Post, the development of the Rwanda Electronic Single Window and the Rwanda Electronic Cargo Tracking System and investment attraction towards the development of the Kigali Logistics Platform. A recent evaluation of TMEA’s first phase of programming in Rwanda indicates a 28% return on investment (ROI) and that the interventions induced US $ 100 million worth of trade.
Already, TMEA interventions contributed to a reduction in cost for transporting containers from Mombasa to Kigali from $6,500 in 2011 to $4,800 in 2017 saving Rwanda approximately $7 million. They delivered a 50% reduction on costs of standards testing and an 85% reduction in average testing time for mycotoxin, mineral content and essential oils - from 45 days in 2011 to 7 days. The single window led to a 46% reduction in average time taken to clear goods from customs and 64% reduction in export release Time. Collectively, this means it takes less time and costs less to import and export products into or out of Rwanda and that has ensured prices of products have not increased exponentially. It has also ensured Rwanda products are competitive in the regional market.