Logistics Innovation for Trade

To develop and test new ideas that reduce the cost and time of transport and logistics in East Africa. Open to businesses throughout the world that are operating, or will operate, in the East African Community (EAC).


East Africa has amongst the highest freight and transport costs in the world. Freight logistics costs in East Africa per Km are more than 50% higher than the USA and Europe. These costs seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries and raise the cost of living. For landlocked countries transport costs can be as much as 75% of the value of exports. In the end, it is the producer, a farmer or a business that pays.

Trade is growing up to 8% per annum across the re-gion and economic growth is picking up. Without the transport and logistics sector becoming more efficient, growth could be severely constrained. Reducing the cost and time of transport and logistics will increase trade, reduce the cost of living, con-tribute to higher exports and faster growth and create jobs. All LIFT projects must hold the potential to reduce transport and logistics costs.

What the fund will achieve

LIFT aims to promote innovation in East Africa’s transport and logistics industry. It will support the East African industry to:

  • introduce new technology that will help to reduce the time and cost of transport and ensure better coordination of the logistics chain
  • innovate new business models, such as third party logistics, that enable Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the logistics chain
  • introduce new services, such as pallet exchanges, third party warehousing, distribution and packaging centres and ICT platforms that enable buyers to find the right suppliers and facilitate more efficient logistics
  • improve financial services and manpower training in the industry
  • document how to reduce red tape, advocate for regulatory reforms and en-forcement of standards

LIFT will trigger innovation to ensure the East African transport and logistics industry improves efficiency and service quality

How to apply

Visit the Logistics innovation for trade (LIFT) website to view application details.


The lead organisation can either be an established local or foreign company or organisation that will operate in the East African Community ie Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. For commercial projects, the lead applicant must be a private for-profit organization. For projects promoting reforms, non-profit organi-sations will also be considered.

For business led projects, at least 50% of funds for the project must be provided by the applicant. For non-profit organisations 30% of the project’s funding requirement must be provided by the lead organisation. The project must demonstrate that the activities which will be funded by LIFT will be additional to the company’s existing activities and that the project would not go ahead without LIFT funding.


Allan Ngugi Email: allan.ngugi@trademarkea.com

Fund Manager: Isaac Njoroge, Email: info@lift-fund.com

LIFT website: http://www.lift-fund.com

Published 22 February 2016