The Country Director of Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA)-Rwanda, Mark Priestley, and Faustin Mbundu, Chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), yesterday signed a grant agreement worth US$1.4million.
The grant is in line with the financing agreement TMEA has with the government to support regional integration.
Shortly after the signing ceremony, Priestley told The New Times that there was urgent need to address challenges affecting cross-border trade, citing non-tariff barriers as one of the most pressing issues.
“We want to boost the federation`s advocacy capacity, especially in regional integration, to enable it push forward interests of the private sector to ensure favourable business environment,” said Priestley.
He explained that this would be achieved by conducting research to take stock of evidence-based advocacy on EAC issues.
“The private sector should positively drive or influence the integration policies and practices if businesses are to grow, not only in Rwanda but also in the region,” he said.
Mbundu welcomed the grant and promised the federation would work as a team and in the interest of the private sector.
He pointed out that among other issues, PSF would also put in more efforts to create awareness about regional integration to enable the private sector and the civil society organisations play their respective roles in the process.