Since 2010, TMEA has worked alongside its wide range of partners to invest in increased transport capacity, more efficient border crossings, stronger public and private institutions, new IT and systems technology, and the procesess to strengthen business to play a bigger role in global trade through expanded exports.

As an issue cutting across all trade topics, reducing Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in the EAC has been high on TMEA’s agenda, both at regional and national levels. Under Strategy 1, TMEA supported the regional harmonisation of standards, upgraded standards testing equipment, and strengthened the technical capacity of National Bureaus of Standards. TMEA also promoted stronger linkages between the public and private sector for the monitoring, reporting and reduction of NTBs.

In Strategy 2, TMEA aims to deliver increased trade in Eastern Africa, both increased intra-regional trade and increased trade between the region and the rest of the world.

TMEA NTB Strategy 2017-2021 is designed in line with the TMEA Corporate Strategy 2, following the PDIA and Network Approach. The complexity of NTBs and their cross-cutting nature make the elimination an elaborate process requiring the use of multiple instruments and high level of stakeholder’s involvement.  The PDIA provides explicit politically informed, problem-driven, iterative and adaptive approach in designing NTB related assistance and is strengthened by the networking approach as a method to manage complexity.

In order to build extensively upon the lessons learnt from TMEA’s NTB Strategy 1, this assignment required an initial review of this first strategy as the point of departure. This review fed into a wider assessment of NTB projects (both TMEA and non-TMEA led, spanning both private sector and government) in the region and their statuses, which was coupled with extensive stakeholder mapping across six countries. Primary and secondary research techniques, which included in-depth stakeholder interviews, were utilised to produce a definitive problem analysis and to further assess the impact, status, and mechanisms of current NTB elimination programmes in the region. Validation workshops were undertaken with key stakeholders in the region. These processes fed into the design of a strategy that was comprehensive, practicable, and effective, and deliverables included: Inception reports, validated strategies at both regional and national level, PARs, and a detailed results framework which included an M&E plan and a Results Chain.