Efforts to speed up cargo movement in the region received a major boost Tuesday after the European Union signed a deal with the Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to fund safe clearance at the ports and border points.
Under the Sh602 million (€5 million) emergency trade programme, mobile testing labs will be provided at Mombasa port and key border crossings, including Busia and Malaba.
The programme to be rolled out under public-private partnership will also provide personal protective equipment to port and border point workers to cushion them from Covid-19 spreading at these trade hubs.
“This (fund) grant is very important and will complement the government’s efforts that ultimately cushion not only large enterprises but especially also the MSME who rely greatly on the flow of supply chains as most cannot maintain large inventories,” said Trade Secretary Betty Maina.
The funds from the European Union will fund the Kenyan component of the programme, making the bloc the largest donor to the programme.
“I am, therefore, happy to support this Safe Trade Emergency Facility in Kenya not only as a donor but also by drawing on the EU’s knowledge and experience. This action will support Kenya as the gateway to the EAC by making certain that all supply chains stay open,” said EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue.
June 17, 2020