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The Ministry of Trade Industry and Industry (MINICOM) through its Single Project Implementation Unit collaboration with other Government agencies is implementing Great Lakes Trade Facilitation (GLTF) project which is focusing on improving regional trade infrastructure and in particular, remove all sorts of border constraints to regional trade. The project is currently supporting efforts for reducing non-tariff barriers to intra-regional trade, by improving regional environments for business and by supporting regional measures to improve governance.
In addition, the project is exploring ways of addressing underlying sources of conflict as well as poverty and under-development at the Rwandan border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as contributing to the attainment of key regional commitments on Peace and Security. Cross-border trade will be used as a toll for stimulating and facilitating agricultural trade and increasing resilience and social cohesion.
The Project Development Objective (PDO) of GLTFP is to facilitate cross-border trade by increasing the capacity for commerce and reducing the costs faced by traders, especially small-scale and women traders, at targeted locations in the borderlands.
The GLTFP consists of 4 Components: (1) Improving core trade infrastructure and facilities in the border areas, (2) Implementation of Policy and Procedural Reforms and Capacity Building to Facilitate Cross Border Trade in Goods and Services (3) Performance Based Management in Cross Border Administration and (4) Implementation support, Communication, Monitoring and Evaluation. Of the total of US$ 79 million of the World Bank, the allocation to the Government of Rwanda is US$ 26 million.
|Project component||Progress / Impact|
Improvement of border post infrastructure at Rusizi-1
The Consultant has finalized a feasibility study and a formal validation took place on January 11-12 2018. Tender for works is in the offing.Upon completion, this border infrastructure will enhance cross border trade traffic flow and security, movement towards coordinated one stop border, improved revenue collection, improved border transport infrastructure and facilities, reduced travel time and cost, improved drainage in and around the border posts, enhanced public health of the communities, and generally improved environment for people to live and work.
Establishment of Border Markets
The feasibility studies for Nyamasheke District had completed and validated. The next phase is the launch of constructions works slated to take place by June 2018. These cross border markets will enhance exports due to increased border market infrastructure, increase incomes and employment opportunities for border communities including the disadvantaged groups.Cross-border trade will facilitate agricultural trade and increase resilience and social cohesion. Trade facilitation will enable agricultural producers to sell their produce more easily and speedily; improve access to critical inputs into production; reduce the prices of consumer goods and services, and increase real incomes.
Policy Reforms to Facilitate Cross Border Trade.
The reforms are essential to make border crossing procedures more transparent and predictable for traders. This is of particular importance to small-scale traders, and especially women, who are typically more vulnerable given the asymmetry in power between the official and trader and the current lack of a functioning mechanism for addressing complaints and resolving disputes for small-scale traders.Under this framework, the Project has created Joint Border Committees which will regularly incorporate traders’ representatives through membership of trade related sub committees where appropriate, and will be used as the main platform for small-scale (women) traders to: lodge complaints and report abuses, including harassment and other forms of gender-based violence; receive first-hand assistance and legal advice; and provide feedback on reported cases of abuse.The reforms will contribute to increased safety and less scope for harassment at the border, especially against women, to shorter time to cross the border (thus providing the opportunity to eventually increase the number of journeys in a day, with a corresponding increase in profits and revenue) and to improved control and revenue generation at key border crossings.
The project will continue to support JBC workshops, trainings and other capacity building exercises to illustrate to both traders and officials the benefits of establishing such joint platforms, as well as to progressively build mutual trust between the two groups.These reforms will in general lead to : Improved border crossing regulatory framework, movement towards coordinated one stop border posts, and enhanced cooperation to facilitate trade in services especially logistics, financial and key professional services.
|4||Upgrading Infrastructure at Kamembe airport in Rwanda||
The project is supporting Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA) to develop navigation infrastructure and improve security at Kamembe Airport. So far, the perimeter fence has been completed and the final detail designs for navigation infrastructure (AMHS and D-AIM components) of the upgrading works had been submitted for review and approval. The next phase will be the completion of the installation.
Kamembe has a comparative advantage over other airports in the region: both Goma (DRC) and Bujumbura (Burundi) airports are more than 100km from Bukavu while Kamembe is 25 minutes flying time from Kigali, through which travelers can connect to the rest of the world. The majority of passengers passing through Kamembe are Congolese (about 90 percent), a significant proportion of whom source tradeable goods from the Middle East and ship them through Rwanda.
The airport has great potential, with passenger traffic growing at an average of 19 percent per annum for the last 4 years.
The project is complementing the government investment in the runway and finance new navigational aids and weather equipment, aeronautical ground lighting, airport perimeter fencing and lighting and a transit cargo facility (US$14.2 million). The improvements to the airport are a priority of the government and are part of the country’s Strategic Transport Master Plan.