Kampala- November 30th, 2018 – TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has been recognised by H.E. President Yoweri Museveni for its contribution in supporting Uganda’s middle-income status and vision 2040. TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has received “The Best International Infrastructure Supporting Organization Visionary Award 2018”.
At a colourful ceremony held in Kampala, TMEA, a multi-donor agency was granted the award for supporting hard and soft infrastructure trade facilitation programmes that continue to contribute to an improved business environment in Uganda. The award was presented to the TMEAs acting Uganda Country Director, Damali Ssali by H.E. Hon. Edward Ssekkandi, Vice President of Uganda and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon Henry Okello Oryem.
Speaking at the event the Vice President H.E. Hon Edward Ssekkandi 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 Uganda’s profile and increasing our export competitiveness.”
Key highlights of achievements.
Construction and operationalisation of the One Stop Border Posts at Busia, Mutukula, Mirama Hills and Elegu: TMEA provided funding for the construction of the OSBPs at Busia, Malaba, Mutukula and Elegu and is supporting lead agencies to implement the project on time and ensure quality of the infrastructure. TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has recorded an average of 70% reduction of time to cross selected borders reducing the time and cost to import and export products into or out of Uganda. This ensures prices of products have not increased exponentially, cushioning consumers. It has also ensured Uganda products are competitive in the regional market.
Customs Management Systems for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA): TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has provided funding and technical support to URA to upgrade its Customs Management System (CMS) from ASYCUDA++ which had been experiencing downtime and was not web-based to ASYCUDA World, which is a 24hour web-based system that can be accessed from all over the world and is integrated to share information with the Kenya Revenue Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Tanzania Revenue Authority for the operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory; this enables the pre-clearance of goods by Ugandan importers and exporters online before the goods arrive at the Ports of Mombasa or Dar-es-Salaam. Uganda Revenue Authority has recorded an increase in revenue by 48 per cent as of June 2015 with customs processing time reducing significantly by 30 per cent – 120 hours to 84 hours;
With URA, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) supported the operationalisation of the Electronic Cargo Tracking System that enables the tracking of transit cargo in real-time along the Northern Transit Corridor, from Mombasa, to Kampala to Kigali. Uganda has recorded 15,000 transit shipments that are tracked annually hence saving 144 hours on importation that resulted to a 75 per cent reduction in transit time from 8 days to 2 days. This has resulted to the country saving $400-600 per truck daily.
Finally, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is supporting ICT Trade systems and procedure within other public sector entities – to improve the trade environment, increase efficiency, transparency and predictability of trade processes – through the implementation of the Electronic Single Window. Some of these agencies include the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, National Drugs Authority, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda Coffee Development Agency, Uganda Revenue Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
Standards and Non-Tariff Barriers: TMEA provided funding for the purchase of laboratory testing equipment for the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives through the Uganda National Bureau of Standards. This equipment enables UNBS to test Uganda’s most imported and exported items including, cement, maize for moisture content, and steel among others. In addition, the Ministry operationalised the NTB Reporting System that enables trader, importers and exporters to report an NTB that they may have encountered either online or by a simple SMS text message. Improved Standards and testing capacity by UNBS, testing time reduced from 19 days to 3 days and NTBs elimination, facilitating reporting and removal of NTBs thought the Ministry of Trade
Coordination and Leadership on EAC Regional Integration: TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) provided funding through technical assistance to the Ministry of East African Community Affairs to Increase in the number of CMP and CU commitments implemented. Also, a National Policy on EAC Regional Integration developed and approved by Cabinet in 2015.
Private Sector – National Logistics Platform: TMEA provided funding and technical assistance for the private sector players, through the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, in the logistics industry in Uganda to collaborate and engage GOU on logistics policies, such as local content, to ensure that the industry benefits from the upcoming Oil and Gas industry.
The support in the above projects, and many others not listed above, is at an estimated cost of USD100million in form of Grants mainly to GOU. An external Evaluation of the Country programme (2010-2015) indicated that the Programme is on track to meet its time and trade targets and estimates that the TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) attributable time savings have so far resulted in a 5.7% reduction in transport time between Kampala and the ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam. Furthermore, the projects that have been completed or near completion had added another US$ 92million in attributable, net new trade to the Ugandan economy.