Uganda Celebrates Trade Facilitation Partners

As a blog that advocates the advantages of opening up trade to serve development objectives we are always looking for examples of case studies where governments and their partners are able to demonstrate impact.

The measuring of this impact has become particularly important in recent times because while developed nations remain committed to spending 0.7% of GNI on ODA in theory, in practice concerns regarding value for money mean scrutiny of results has never been higher.

It is against this backdrop that we are publishing here a story from East Africa and donor-funded not-for-profit TradeMark East Africa’s work in Uganda as shared with us earlier today:

TradeMark East Africa recognised for its transformative impact after generating $97m of additional trade to Uganda.

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has been awarded a Certificate of Special Recognition by H.E. President Yoweri Museveni at the annual Visionaries of Uganda Awards following the organisation’s work in Uganda.  This is a Presidential initiative that recognises investors, private sector and donor institutions whose work has had a transformative social-economic impact on the people of Uganda.  TMEA was recognised for best contribution to infrastructure and trade facilitation.

Since the TMEA programmes began in Uganda – working closely with the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) – waiting times for trucks on border posts have been reduced by up to 70% after one-stop custom mechanisms were introduced, therefore eliminating the need for customs checks on both sides of the border.

Furthermore, the Uganda Revenue Authority has seen a 48% increase in tax revenues, after moving to a 24hour web-based processing customs system. The move has also led to processing time being reduced by 30% from 120 hours to 84 hours.

Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer of Trade Mark East Africa, commented on the receiving award: “The work we undertake at TMEA across Uganda has significantly reduced the cost and time of doing business in the country and has made a tangible difference to the lives of Ugandans. We are grateful to be recognised by H.E. President Museveni, for this award and for the recognition our work in Uganda has received. We look forward to maintaining our excellent relationship with the Government of Uganda and reaffirm our commitment to the development of the Ugandan economy”.

The award followed the outcome of an independent evaluation that concluded that TMEA’s Uganda programmes directly contributed to inducing additional trade worth $97m.

Kirunda Kivenjinja, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, commented when awarding the prize: “The elimination of non-tariff barriers, upgrading of custom systems and custom reforms, improvement of testing by UNBS have all had a significant impact upon the Ugandan economy.”

Know of any other transformative case studies from across the developing world? Please email us with details at

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