The Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) provided Technical Assistance (TA) over a three year period to East African Community (EAC) member states, aimed at improving trade flows into and from the region. The TA is provided in collaboration with the East African Business Council (EABC), the EAC Secretariat and the national trade support institutions through four distinct but related components, namely:
(i) Improvement of the business environment in EAC;
(ii) Enhancing regional public private dialogue (PPD) and partnerships;
(iii) Capacity building for trade support institutions in the region; and
(iv) Creation of a framework for forging synergies across sectors.
As part of the TA, COMSEC commissioned Imani Development International to provide expert support to the project by documenting and recommending solutions to trade facilitation related to infrastructural, procedural and administrative impediments to the free flow of goods both into and out of the EAC region. Part of this assistance included carrying out a baseline review of ongoing trade facilitation related projects in the EAC member countries which are members of the Commonwealth (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda); documenting the present state of trade facilitation regimes in each country; benchmarking the EAC trade facilitation processes against best performing economies; and identifying a feasible set of actions that would improve trade facilitation in EAC countries.