3 May 2017

East Africa: Govt in New Strategy to Improve Cross Border Trade

Kampala — The ministry of Trade together with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) are in advanced stages of developing a strategy to improve trade across borders.

The proposed strategy lays out planned interventions and priorities that will eliminate some of the challenges faced by women and informal traders.

Addressing the participants during a stakeholders' meeting to review the strategy held in Kampala last week, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said government is going to coordinate different stakeholders in different ministries charged with trade facilitation.

"The strategy has also been developed and approved and we are now going to present to Cabinet. We are giving it less than a month. We are also going to ensure that they work on infrastructure and also approve the National Export Development Strategy which comprises all these projects," she said.

Speaking at the event, TMEA Uganda country director Moses Sabiti said the cross border plan is a strategy that supports national exports in Uganda.

"... given that 70 per cent of informal traders are women, it is important that interventions are focused to ensure that there are processes in place to help them to gainfully engage in trade," he said.

As part of its contribution to the strategy, TMEA will support interventions that complement infrastructure work such as the one stop Border posts in Busia, Elegu, and Mutukula to enhance results.

Such interventions include: Incorporation of cross border market channels, construction of cross border markets, equipping borders with mini labs for standards resting and quality upgrading as well as trade information desks for women and informal traders.

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