A new report by Microjustic4all, an organisation that advocates for lifting of barriers to trade, shows a reduction of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) within the East African Community (EAC), especially along the Northern Corridor.
While this is good news considering that cargo trucks that used to take weeks to get to Kigali from the port of Mombasa currently take about half a week, more still needs to be done.
That most of the barriers were removed under a new trilateral framework involving Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda is testimony to the benefits of this seven months old initiative.
It is important that Burundi and Tanzania too join this initiative designed to help fast track the EAC integration.
The business community would like to see the unfolding success of the northern corridor replicated on the central corridor – which links Rwanda to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam – sooner rather than later.
Indeed importers and exporters should be in position to use any of the two routes without difficulty.
But businesses will also need to significantly scale up and diversify their operations if they are to maximise the opportunities that come with a deepening regional integration.
Ultimately, this should impact positively on the east African citizen through wider and competitive markets, among other emerging opportunities.