Advancing Regional Integration in the East African Community through innovation in transport and logistics
A US$16 million challenge fund dubbed the Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT) has been opened for innovators who can develop a strategy to crack the code into reducing the cost and time of transport and logistics in East Africa.
The challenge fund which was also launched in Kenya, side effects http://copdx.org.au/wp-includes/post-thumbnail-template.php will provide grants ranging from US$ 200, there 000 to US$ 750,000 to winning proposals from innovators from across the world but whose ideas will be implemented in East Africa.
LIFT is managed by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Challenge Fund with funding support from UK-DFID; and seeks to trigger and introduce innovative approaches to tackling freight and transport costs in East Africa region.
East Africa is reported to have the highest freight and transport costs in the world; over 50 percent higher than the USA and Europe per kilometre. Indeed, transport costs for land locked countries in the region can be as high as 75 percent of the value of exports. Transit times have the most significant effect on exports and also result in firms having to carry higher levels of stocks making them less efficient.
Successful LIFT project will contribute to TMEA objective of reducing transport time along the main East Africa transport corridors by 15 percent by 2016.
Speaking at the launch, TMEA Uganda Country Director Allen Asiimwe said, “The high costs of freight and transport seriously erodes the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries and raise the cost of living, reducing trade, economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. The future of the transport and logistics sector in the East African Community relies on innovation developed by the private sector and easing of the numerous regulations to allow this to transpire.”
She also added that, “Through the LIFT challenge fund, we want to encourage transport and logistics providers to focus on services that would not have been provided by the market.”
TradeMark East Africa Challenge Fund manager, Mr. Isaac Njoroge said, “The Challenge fund comes in to help private businesses and innovators mitigate risks of high return projects that are risky and have not been tested. LIFT recognises the ability of the private sector to innovate, to produce new products that can transform the lives of people not only in Uganda but throughout East Africa.
The fund is open to businesses and individuals throughout the world that are operating or will operate in EAC. Businesses in the transport and logistics industry and those who provide services to it are hereby invited to submit the most innovative ideas to LIFT.
Noting the contribution of Challenge funds in providing solutions Njoroge added, “Transit times are an important determinant of trade and the competitiveness of firms. A reduction of one day in transit times leads to 7 percent increase in export for example. Thus reducing cost and time of transport would increase trade, reduce cost of living and contribute to higher exports and faster growth to create jobs.”
Since its inception in 2012, TMEA-Challenge Fund is supporting other Trade innovations worth US$ 10 million. Some of resulting innovations include: the recently launched Airtel Cross Border money transfer and the Africado Ltd project “Developing Export Markets for Avocado in Kilimanjaro Region.” The Airtel cross-border money transfer pilot phase is expected to roll out November 2014 with first phase targeting Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Africado Limited, on the other hand, invested in capacity-building activities for avocado farmers, construction of a packing, cold chain export facility using new technology which ensured packaging and preservation was optimized. This has led to less rejects to products exported to the Europe market, thus increasing returns to farmers. In addition to its original farmers, Africado was able to build the capacity of an additional 2000 farmers, who now grow export ready avocados, firmly placing them on a path towards prosperity.
Former singer and Kampala socialite, viagra http://deltaalphapihonorsociety.org/wp-includes/rss.php Zari Hassan must be a very happy woman. Her Ciroc All White party held last night at Club Governor was so successful to the extent that some reveler remained outside the venue just to witness it as the inside section was too full.
Zari who was accompanied by close party comrade, find Sylvia Awori and new boyfriend, decease singer, Diamond Platinumz surprised many after they arrived in a luxurious white limousine for the party amidst tight security and wild cheers.
Though many had believed that the party would flop after Zari’s ex-husband, Ivan Semwanga pulled out earlier this year, Zari gave an early Christmas surprise when she registered more than a full house.
Semwanga, who had always been the party’s main sponsor and is also the father of Zari’s 3 children pulled out after the couple were involved in a bitter split.
The party was well organized with everything being white including the speakers.
The other surprise of the event was that the party was also graced by singer Jose Chameleone who had minutes earlier concluded his One Man, One Million show at Serena Hotel.