The Minister of Trade, Industry and East African Affairs (MINEACOM) has observed that cross border trade challenges have continued to dog businesses as experienced in some countries.
Minister Kanimba noted this yesterday in the meeting held in Kigali that brought together leaders of Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), a program aimed at building capacity of cross-border trade from developing countries in which Rwanda is a member.
He said that Rwanda is among 38 countries supported through EIF where it provided USD 3 million fund to build a cross-border market at Cyanika border connecting Rwanda and Uganda along with another one at Rwanda ,DRC border in Karongi district.
EIF provided USD 1 million to fund building of capacities for workers in MINEACOM who are supposed to help traders understand the context of international business and helping them to learn from experience of international markets.
Minister Kanimba said that cross-border trade has registered progress though there are rampant challenges of insecurity in some countries where Rwanda exports.
“Cross border trade is at a good stand-point. The most interesting is the speed at which it is progressing. We had two categories where some products would cross the border without registration while products carried in trailers would be registered. So, we have developed concerted efforts in registering and formalizing businesses which has seen a growth from such earnings to almost USD 10 million per annum. When this number is added to earnings from usual trade in the region, Rwanda obtains USD 300 million,” he said.
“Cross border trade faces security problems when there is chaos in a particular country causing fears among traders.,” he added.
Political violence that ensued in Burundi since May 2015 has affected Rwanda’s exports with a substantial reduction of about 50% in returns.
Ratnakar Adhikari, the Executive Director of EIF said they came to Rwanda to witness the progress of projects supported which he said are performing well.
EIF delegation will visit Karongi cross-border market on Friday to witness progress and discuss some pertinent issues with traders.