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East Africa: New Web Site to Enhance Trade in East AfricaThursday, October 02, 2014 > 09:54:40
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has unveiled a web-portal that will contain crucial information on trade and markets in the region.
The web-portal, www.trademarkea.com, is a one-stop centre on information in trade, markets and integration.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday, TMEA Chief Executive Frank Matsaert said the communications tool will enhance accessibility of information to all the East Africa citizens.
"For the last four years that we have been in operation, a lot has been achieved. Various projects and measures have been undertaken to improve and enhance trade in the East Africa region. We have documented some of the best practices in form of case studies which we have shared on our new website," said Matsaert.
Recently, TMEA, in partnership with key stakeholders drawn from government agencies, private sector and interested parties, kicked off a Northern Corridor Performance Dashboard, a software that captures live data and transmits it.
The tool captures critical information such as ship-waiting time, vessel turnaround time, and cargo dwell time.
This information is available for anyone to see, hence the agencies are able to pinpoint the barrier to trade.
TMEA has invested $53 million in the port corridor rehabilitation to strengthen infrastructure, improve productivity and create an enabling institutional framework.
Besides the Performance Dash Board, in partnership with Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade), a new single window system was unveiled to document all import/export transactions so that they can be accessed by all parties.
Matsaert said TMEA projects are now entering a critical phase.
"Together with our partners, we have made considerable progress and have achieved commendable success. Many projects have matured and are delivering substantial benefits for the region," he added.
Some of the key projects that TMEA has executed include the construction at the Holili and Taveta One-Stop Border Posts (OSPBs) at the Kenya-Tanzania border which is complete, paving the way for one stop border controls which will save both time and money for traders.
Innovative customs systems in Rwanda and Uganda are facilitating secure transportation of goods and making it easier to clear them on arrival, saving the private sector both time and cost.
The recent signing of the Mombasa Port Community Charter by 25 government and private sector agencies has already begun to strengthen the efficiency of the Mombasa Port and the Northern Corridor.
Karin Anderson, donors Programme Investment Committee Chair, lauded TMEA for supporting East Africa by enhancing the trade environment, and improving business competitiveness.
"TMEA has achieved great milestones in few years from automating import and export clearing systems, using single windows to facilitate the transit of goods through East Africa, improving the efficiency of critical government systems relevant to trade, or supporting the upgrading of ports," Anderson said.