A new fund to improve trade competitiveness in East Africa has been launched today.
Supported with an additional £10 million from the UK government, the TradeMark East Africa’s Logistics Innovation for Trade fund (LIFT) will use new technologies and cutting edge business practices to reduce the region’s logistics and transport costs.
East Africa currently has some of the highest freight and transport costs in the world. These costs erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries, reducing trade, economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
Speaking at the launch, UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
Trade can lift countries out of poverty for good, but bad infrastructure, lengthy delays and red-tape mean that goods often struggle to get to market. We need to find new ways to unblock bottlenecks and make East African countries more competitive. Backed by Britain, this new project could help reduce transport times in the region by 15 per cent over the next three years.
LIFT will provide match grants to encourage private sector investment into freight and other logistics technologies and business processes in East Africa. The fund aims to reduce transport time along the main transport corridors in East Africa, stimulate further innovation and research and create systems for tracking industry performance and efficiency.