The Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) in collaboration with other Government agencies intends to implement a Great Lakes Trade Facilitation (GLTF) project focusing on improving regional infrastructure and in particular remove both at and behind the border constraints to regional trade. The project will support efforts for reducing nontariff barriers to intraregional trade, by improving regional environments for business and by supporting regional measures to improve governance. In addition the project is designed to address underlying sources of conflict as well as poverty and under-development at the Ugandan 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 Uganda will be US$ 10 million. The counterpart funding from the Government of Uganda is US $3 million.
The Government of Uganda will implement the project with funding from World Bank and targeting three border crossing points to the Democratic Republic of Congo-namely, Bunagana, Mpondwe and Goli. Interventions under the project will include improving corer infrastructure and facilities at the border posts, undertaking procedural reforms to facilitating cross border trade, promoting performance based border management in cross border trade administration and ensuring effective communication, monitoring and evaluation. Of these, the major allocation will be in Mpondwe, whereas investments / sub-projects in Goli and Bunagana will be minor.
The Border post/ market infrastructure is the largest component of the Project and is planned to cost about 70% of the total budget. The component seeks to improve existing customs offices, border crossing roads and road junctions, drainage systems including sanitation facilities and green spaces through landscaping. Improvements to core infrastructure and facilities will be implemented under two subcomponents, one on improving border infrastructure and facilities and the second on establishing Border Markets. In the first phase the border market aspects will be limited to analytics undertaking feasibility and impact studies, assessing product value chains and establishing mechanisms for enhancing the system, development of Master Plans and implementation of the enterprise development and value addition component of the program. Construction of the physical border markets will be covered in the second phase.
The project shall be managed through a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from various Ministries, Internal Affairs, MTIC, MFPED, MAAIF and MOWT. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) will be responsible for the overall coordination of the project and will chair the Steering Committee. The policy mandates and composition of the Steering Committee is illustrated in the table 2.
A technical Working Group (TWC) will provide oversight, guidance and advisory functions to the Project implementation Units. The TWC will develop TORS, review reports and provide guidelines and way forward on the outputs and reports developed under the GLTF Project. The composition of the TWC is indicated in table 3.
Project Management Units, the main one in the MTIC and the other in the MOWT ministry of works and transport shall be responsible for executing and managing day-to-day operations of the activities under their respective components.
Implementation arrangements for the project and ESMF
The lead agency responsible for the implementation is the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives (MTIC). For the investments / sub-projects to be implemented under Component 1.1, the Ministry of Works & Transport (MoWT) will be responsible in entirety. For the initiatives on all other components, they shall be implemented byMTIC, the lead institution, supported by the following agencies – Immigration, Uganda Revenue Authority, Agriculture and Uganda Bureau of Statistics will be involved. For the ESMF implementation, the PMU within the MTIC will be responsible for the day-to-day management. The PMU will include a Safeguards-In-charge, who will coordinate all the safeguards functions, across the entire project. In the MoWT, a project team will be responsible for the day-to-day management. An engineer will be assigned as the safeguards-in-charge to coordinate both the MTIC and with the contractors and consultants associated with the investments / sub-projects. Direct environmental and social impacts are only envisaged in Component 1, and hence safeguards capacity has been planned. For the remaining components, there are no direct environmental and social impacts and no specific capacity additions are required. Representatives of Ministries, consultants and contractors will be trained on this ESMF, World Bank Polices, NEMA requirements, ESIA and ESMP.
Budget Estimates for the GLTF Project
GLTF Project is estimated to cost US $ 13 million, and will be implemented over a period of 5 years from 2015 to 2020. The project will also provide funds for institutional development by building the capacity for lead agencies to enable effectively implement, manage and monitor the project.
A specific budget estimate for compensations and implementation of other environmental mitigations that will be involved has not been made because the size and area scope of operation on some sites are not yet known.