TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has announced major projects that it is going to focus on in it’s second phase of development aimed at continued enhancement of trade environment, physical access to markets and improved business competitiveness for Uganda and the rest of East African countries.
The projects include building a logistic hub In Gulu for the northern collider traders, Building a one stop border post at the Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border, enhancement of the Entebbe airport and decentralization of standards laboratories to different parts of the country.
Moses Sabiiti, the TMEA Country Director for Uganda while meeting a number of journalists today at TMEA head office in Kampala said that the second phase which has already commenced and is expected to end in 2023 will be focused on addressing the challenges that are facing the trading community in East Africa so that Uganda is able to compete favorably on the global market.
“When you look at the clearing system at the Entebbe Airport and compare it with the other airports, Uganda is still lagging behind. We are going to help in building an automated clearing system so that they are no delays in terms of time and money spent at the airport by the traders,” Sabiiti said.
About the logistic hub in Gulu, Sabiiti said that the facility which has already commenced in terms of designs will become a major clearing spot for exports and will have capacity for more than 500,000 containers.
“Trucks have been bringing goods in Uganda and going back to Sudan empty because there was no gazetted spot where clearance for return trucks. This facility will have major clearing agents to clear goods for export. This will improve on Uganda’s exports as well as great major job opportunities in northern Uganda,” Sabiiti said.
Sabiiti noted that TMEA Uganda already has $25m but is expecting more from its major donors to achieve all their projects in the second development phase.
“Our aspiration is $100m for this second phase ending 2023. We already have $25m but expect more especially from DANIDA (government of Denmark). TMEA Uganda has performed best in the first phase and we expect more support for the government of Uganda,” Sabiiti said.
He added, “The first phase of our development projects which ended last year has been successful with major achievements that have seen a turnaround in how Uganda as a country is competing on the regional and global market. These new projects are also aimed at removing other bottlenecks that are challenging traders like standards, delays in processing documents and the cost of doing business.”
For the last 7 years, TMEA has worked with the government of Uganda in major projects that have enhanced trade like the development of the national single window, the upgrading and automation of URA customs systems, development of one stop boarder centers at Mirama hills, Busia, Mutukula and Elegu, installation of the electronic cargo tracking system, co-funding the tarmacking of Ntungamo Milama hills road and capacity enhancement of government agencies like UNBS, NDA, Uganda coffee development agency, ministry of trade and many others.