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African Development Bank launches East Africa Resource CentreWednesday, October 01, 2014 > 10:30:02
The African Development Bank ( AfDB) Regional Director Mr. Gabriel Negatu lauded Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) for its critical role in trade facilitation to improve competitiveness in East Africa by implementing the Electronic Single Window System ( Kenya TradeNet System). He spoke at the launch of East Africa Resource Centre (EARC) Knowledge Sharing Series at AfDB East Africa Regional Headquarters at which Kentrade were honoured to be the first institution to present to AfDB at the knowledge sharing series.
The series is an initiative by AfDB as part of its knowledge management strategy where innovative ideas will be presented to AfDB staff by invited institutions once a month. The delegation from KenTrade was led by CEO Mr Alex Kabuga.
“We value KenTrade as a potential partner whose implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System fits in the AfBD’s development strategy of regional integration and reduced delays in trade border crossing in the East Africa Community (EAC) through promotion” Mr. Negatu said. Mr. Kabuga showcased the state agency’s strategic trade role of Trade Facilitation with a presentation on its flagship project, Kenya TradeNet System, with which the Government is simplifying trade transaction processes and thereby reducing cargo clearance delays at border points.
“KenTrade was set up to facilitate trade transactions between the Port based Government Agencies and the trader through a Single Window cargo clearance portal known as Kenya TradeNet System that would improve efficiency and reduce cost of doing business” he said. He added that the System was a cross – cutting project involving 24 Government Agencies that are involved in the clearance of cargo in the country. Mr. Kabuga said that as a gate way to East Africa Kenya was a critical player in the Northern Corridor trade whose operational efficiency level was bound to impact on the neighbouring countries hence the importance of working towards a Regional Single Window System.
AfDB Chief Infrastructure Economist EARC, Mr. Shem Simuyemba noted that the two institutions should consider working together to develop a framework for regional integration. “There’s a need to promote dialogue among the Regional States and to explore how to develop a strategy that defines a framework towards having a Regional Single Window” he said.
The Kenya TradeNet System was officially launched by His Excellency President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda on invitation by His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya on May 02, 2014. The system, developed by CrimsonLogic, a leading provider of e-Government solutions headquartered in Singapore, went live in October 2013 on pilot basis, with the processing of pre-clearance documentation from 7 government agencies.
KenTrade completed piloting for Phase 1 of the electronic Permits module in March this year. The organization has embarked on Phase 2 of implementation of the Electronic Permits module with piloting currently ongoing. On processing of manifests, KenTrade has completed piloting with bulk cargo and motor vehicles. For containerized cargo, piloting was completed in July 2014. KenTrade plans to roll out the final phase of the project, the Declaration Submission module, which will enable electronic lodgment of declarations to Customs for processing by September this year.
Once fully operational, the Kenya TradeNet System will provide a single entry point for importers and exporters to electronically submit and receive approvals from twenty four regulatory agencies, enabling an easier, faster, cheaper and more transparent cargo clearance process. The Kenya TradeNet Project is funded by the Government of Kenya (GoK) with support from the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) and the International Finance Corporation.