The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Emmanuel Hategeka, has said that regional countries should adopt new mechanisms of fighting Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs) for the economic integration to be fully realized.
He made the call while chairing a meeting aimed at assessing the report on the current status of NTBs along the Northern and Central corridors, including the Kigali-Bujumbura route.
The Northern Corridor links Rwanda to the port of Mombasa while the Central one stretches to Dar es Salaam.
“We should have strong enforcement mechanism to combat NTBs in the region for the economic benefit of member states,” he said.
He called for the use of ICT appliances like cameras on borders to monitor and record corrupt officials along highways.
Corruption has been cited as one of the major barriers to operating business along these corridors.
According to John Bosco Kanyangoga, an expert on regional integration, for the NTBs to be fully eliminated, there is need for political will and commitment from all member states.
The research indicates that traders along the Northern Corridor suffer more extortion from corrupt officials than their counterparts on the Central Corridor.
The meeting attracted representatives from regional member states, private sector federation and transporters.