Under Strategy one, TMEA supported EAC PS to implement a number of trade reforms around the Single Customs Territory (SCT); undertake improvements in trade facilitation infrastructure at ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam; connect roads and border posts; improve customs efficiency and harmonisation of trade standards and creation of a reporting framework for non-tariff barriers. TMEA also provided hands on assistance in building capacity of its implementing partners to develop project monitoring and implementation frameworks. More importantly, TMEA governance model of National Oversight Committees and national presence in all the EAC PS, provide an opportunity for its partners to proactively engage in programme delivery, and affords them ownership and the ability to sustain projects upon closure.
Results of TMEA S1 interventions have been positive. Clearance of cargo along the Northern Corridor reduced from 21 days to between 4 and 6 days from Mombasa to Kigali; and from 18 days to 3 to 4 days from Mombasa to Kampala. The time to resolve NTB related cases reduced from an average 34 to 8 months per NTB reported; while more than 170 product standards related to 40% of the key top 20 products traded across the EAC region have been harmonized.
The overall outcome of the Trade Policy Programme is to support the EAC Secretariat and PS to Improved Trade Regulatory Environment and contribute to the reduction of trade barriers and Improved Business Competitiveness in the region.
To achieve this, four interrelated interventions are proposed:
Improved harmonisation of trade policies;
Improved public and private sector technical capacity in trade policy-making and implementation;
Enhanced participation of stakeholders in addressing binding constraints to trade; and
Enhanced availability of evidence to support inclusive trade policy programming.