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TradeMark East Africa

TMEA is focused on ensuring gains from trade leading to tangible gains for East Africans in line with the East African Community (EAC) Development Strategy. TMEA’s objective is “to grow prosperity in the region through improving the conditions for trade within the region and beyond”.

TMEA is a not-for-profit organisation established to support the growth of regional and international trade, in East Africa. TMEA’s regional office is located in Nairobi with branches in each of the East African countries (including Uganda) and South Sudan. TMEA is focused on ensuring gains from trade leading to tangible gains for East Africans in line with the East African Community (EAC) Development Strategy. TMEA’s objective is “to grow prosperity in the region through improving the conditions for trade within the region and beyond”.

TMEA measures its success through four main indicators:

1. Increase in total value of exports from the EAC region to the rest of the world (target of 10%).
2. Reduction in average time for trucks crossing selected borders (target of 30%).
3. Reduction in average time to export/import a container from Mombasa or Dar es Salaam to Rwanda or Burundi (target of 15%).
4. Increase in intra-regional exports compared with total exports from the region (target of 25%).

In the recent TMEA Annual Review 2014/15, it was concluded that the TMEA was on track to deliver on its targets. 

TMEA is an ongoing programme financed by several development partners, including DFID, Sweden and the Netherlands. Denmark until recently was one of the main contributors to TMEA at regional level through the Danida Regional Integration Support programme (REISP) that ended 2015. Hitherto, the Danish Embassy in Nairobi and the Danish Embassy in Kampala directly supported the TMEA country programmes in Kenya and Uganda respectively through their bilateral programmes. 

Danish support to TMEA

The Embassy in Kampala has previously supported the TMEA Uganda Country Programme Strategy 2010-2016 with DKK 27 million towards the first phase of establishing and piloting the so-called National Electronic Single Window (NESW) for the period 2014-2016. This support has been specifically aimed at reducing key bottlenecks to trading across borders (one of the main indicators in the World Bank Doing Business Index).

One of TMEA’s impact targets to be achieved by the end of the current strategy is a 30% reduction of border crossing times for selected borders. In the latest World Bank Doing Business Report (2017), Uganda was commended for substantial reforms in relation to trading across borders. The construction of the Malaba One Stop Border Post (OSBP) and improved border processes to clear exports were emphasized as notable drivers of change in this regard. In the World Bank Doing Business report, a case study on trading across borders points to the importance of single windows and electronic systems for simplifying trade logistics and reducing corruption. In general, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often cited as being absolutely crucial for trade facilitation and improved trade across borders.

Denmark will support the continued implementation and expansion of the NESW under the TMEA Uganda Country Strategy 2017-2024. This support will enable improved connectivity and seamless review and approval of international trade documents by key agencies involved in trade clearance. This will directly address key bottlenecks by reducing time and informal transaction costs (corruption) in relation to trading across borders.