The Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP) is a 5 year regional project implemented by the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Uganda, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The main project objective 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. Total budget for the project is 26,000,000 USD over a period of 5 years (2016-2020).
The GLTFP will support improvements to infrastructure and facilities at priority border posts. The priority border posts have been identified and proposed by the authorities based on traffic volumes, importance to supply chains of goods traded most across the borders, relevance to conflict dynamics in the region and the poor state of infrastructure to support cross- border trade. Selected facilities will be improved based on integrated designs for efficient and secure traffic flows of pedestrian, passenger and commercial vehicle traffic. The designs will seek to improve security of small scale traders, particularly through separate or demarcated lanes for safe passage of pedestrian traffic, lighting and cameras, and providing warehousing so traders can safely store their goods and minimize losses in their supply chains. In addition, support will be provided to redesign access roads in the control zones and to provide parking facilities for vehicles as well as strengthening IT infrastructure and connectivity for customs and other agencies’ management and processing systems (including cross-border connectivity).
Project beneficiaries will primarily be cross border traders, especially women, air travelers and vulnerable families in borderland areas. Key national project stakeholders and beneficiary institutions include: Ministry of Trade, and Industry (MINICOM); Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority; Rwanda Transport Development Agency; Local Administrative Entities Development Agency; Rwanda Revenue Authority and Directorate-General of Immigration and Emigration.
In Rwanda, the overall coordination of the project is the the responsibility of MINICOM, who chair the Project Steering Committee comprising key ministries/agencies (i.e. Ministry of Finance, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Immigration, Agriculture, Infrastructure, RCAA, LODA). The Project Steering Committee (PSC) meets every six months to assess progress and approve the annual work plan and budget.
MINICOMSPIU serves as the overall project management team, coordinating all activities with the other three key agencies: RCAA, RTDA and LODA. Given that the largest proportion of the financing of the project goes towards infrastructure improvements, RCAA has the specific responsibility for the works at Kamembe Airport while RTDA will oversee the implementation of works at the border and LODA will ensure the implementation of border market construction. Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) will sign Subsidiary Agreements with RCAA, RTDA and LODA to delegate implementation of each Sub-component. The project will finance 17 positions