KIGALI - Trademark East Africa (TMEA) committed $27.5 million to support Rwanda’s integration process into the East African Community (EAC).
TMEA is a non profit organisation funded by various development agencies to promote regional trade and economic integration by working closely with EAC institutions, national governments, business and civil society organisations.
A funding agreement was signed, yesterday, between the government represented by the Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa, and the Frank Matsaert, the CEO of TMEA.
The event was also witnessed by EAC Minister Monique Mukaruliza.
Rwangombwa stressed that the funding is very crucial in supporting the deepening of Rwanda’s integration into the regional bloc.
“Enhancing regional integration is one of our key priorities, or means through which we expect to achieve the long term and sustainable development, “he added.
He explained that regional integration will attract bigger investments to the country. TMEA is presently financed by two development partners; UK through DFID and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
The agreement outlines that DFID and) agreed to jointly offer financial, technical, capacity building and logistical support to Rwanda for the integration process through TMEA.
Matsaert said his organisation will support Rwanda’s integration into the EAC by reducing transport costs, speeding up border crossings, strengthening policy making and implementation of the EAC protocols, particularly the Common Market.
“It will also facilitate trade and promote market linkages within the region by working closely with governments, private sector and civil society,” he noted.
He added that they would rally other donors to increase their budget to at least $65m for the next five years.