The World Bank has granted East Africa $79 Million to aid the ‘Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project’. This project aims to curb corruption and expand trade capacity at important border checkpoints thereby promoting the movement of goods within the Great Lakes Region. There are many challenges facing these border checkpoints but some of the issues targeted by this investment include corruption, reduced capacity, and mismanagement. Most of the traders affected are small scale traders who rely on this trade as their sole source of income.
Therefore these barriers to trade have led to the illegal movement of goods with small-scale traders aiming to avoid the corruption and receive a greater return on their product than they would through “legal” means.
The investment made by the World Bank will help the Great Lakes region restructure their border program. While this effort is a positive step, it should be complimented by a reevaluation of current border policy, a development of clear border procedures, and the automation of clearance processes where possible, which should increase the overall processing capacity at these checkpoints.
More information on All Africa News Site.