The Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP) is a 5 year regional project implemented by the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Uganda, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The main project objective is to facilitate cross-border trade by increasing the capacity for commerce and reducing the costs faced by traders, especially small-scale and women traders, at targeted locations in the borderlands. Total budget for the project is 26,000,000 USD over a period of 5 years (2016-2020).

The project will support improvements to infrastructure and facilities at priority border posts. The priority border posts have been identified and proposed by the authorities based on traffic volumes, importance to supply chains of goods traded most across the borders, relevance to conflict dynamics in the region and the poor state of infrastructure to support cross- border trade. Selected facilities will be improved based on integrated designs for efficient and secure traffic flows of pedestrian, passenger and commercial vehicle traffic. The designs will seek to improve security of small scale traders, particularly through separate or demarcated lanes for safe passage of pedestrian traffic, lighting and cameras, and providing warehousing so traders can safely store their goods and minimize losses in their supply chains. In addition, support will be provided to redesign access roads in the control zones and to provide parking facilities for vehicles as well as strengthening IT infrastructure and connectivity for customs and other agencies’ management and processing systems (including cross-border connectivity).

Project beneficiaries will primarily be cross border traders, especially women, air travelers and vulnerable families in borderland areas. Key national project stakeholders and beneficiary institutions include: Ministry of Trade, and Industry (MINICOM); Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority; Rwanda Transport Development Agency; Local Administrative Entities Development Agency; Rwanda Revenue Authority and Directorate-General of Immigration and Emigration. For more information, log on to  


2.   Enhancing Trade Competitiveness through e-Commerce in Rwanda

E-commerce is one of the flagship projects of MINICOM’s “ICT4COM” strategy. As such, it was subject to feasibility studies as well as awareness and fundraising activities, such as with potential private investors, development partners and the general public, and will remain part of the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to leverage funding for its implementation. Additional funding for MINICOM’s e-commerce flagship project will be sought during various occasions, e.g. in the sector-working groups comprising government institutions, development partners and the private sector. The Government of Rwanda has already successfully mobilized funding from other development partners for complementary projects on e-commerce, notably for an ICT policy review and e-commerce strategy development implemented by UNCTAD and the “Rwanda: Enabling the future of e-commerce” project implemented by GIZ in cooperation with ITC and DHL. Since e-commerce and ICT more generally features prominently on the political agenda of the Government of Rwanda, it can be expected that the high level of complementary funding can be maintained in the coming years. . Total budget for the project is 580,000 USD over a period of 2 years (2019-2020) 580,000 USD

MINICOM is partnering with a number of other government institutions in the implementation of this project. In-kind contributions will be sought from these stakeholders when organizing joint activities as part of this project. These contributions could take the form of, for example, provision of experts from these institutions for awareness raising activities, rooms for events or travel costs of staff participating at events.

Also, as part of the GIZ-implemented project “ECO-EMPLOI – Promotion of Economy and Employment in Rwanda”, German development cooperation supported the design phase of this project through the contracting of a short-term consultant and the co-organization of a project appraisal mission jointly with MINICOM. If needed, GIZ support will continue through targeted interventions during the implementation phase of this project.

The project’s overall objective is the integration of Rwanda into global trade in a way which contributes to poverty reduction and sustainable development. The project’s specific purpose (outcome) is to 1) create an e-commerce “trade agenda” which is conducive to sustainable pro-poor growth through the development of evidence based policy in the area of -e-commerce and enhancement of national capacity to implement the agenda; and 2) increasing the presence of Rwanda goods and services in international markets through training SMEs, building capacity of associations to support their constituents, supporting the adoption of new technology and leveraging additional support .

3.   EIF-Sustainability Support Project

This sustainability phase is patent to ensure the sustainable result of EIF interventions in Rwanda. This transitional process will permit complete incorporation of EIF project activities into Ministry’s work plan to guarantee sustainable results that can be carried to next generation. This project will result into fully integrated EIF activities into ministry structures and plans, sustained connectivity to global trade markets, increased export base, improved donor coordination and increased resource mobilization leading to self-reliant economy. The project has a budget of US$ 300,000 for a duration of 2 years (2019-2021).

Furthermore, the intervention aims to provide strategic direction on how the Ministry can continuously integrate Trade Development Agenda and other trade related initiatives into National Strategies and policies/ Plans. This will help the Country to reduce expenses, duplications and it gives core coordination among stakeholders. Specifically, the project will: develop trade mainstreaming guidelines into national policies and strategies; facilitate whole Sector Working Group (SWG); update capacity needs assessment and training plan; train public officials based on capacity assessment and training plan; organize two annual exporters’ conference in Rwanda to strengthen the linkages between the demand and supply; develop national exporters’ support guidelines and the selection criteria; conduct assessment on EIF supported companies; and provide support to selected private sector operators to sustain their participation in global markets.

4.   Meat Value Chain Trade Competitiveness Project.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank have approved a grant of $1.1 million to Rwanda for the implementation of the country’s Meat Value Chain Trade Competitiveness Project. The approval for the grant, made on 5 June 2020, will help to expand the east African nation’s meat production value chain, enhance market access and cross border trade, and increase the contribution of the sector to the Rwandan economy. The grant is awarded from the resources of the African Trade Fund (AfTRA).

The project, to be implemented between September 2020 and August 2022, targets provinces such as Rubavu, Nyagatare, Bugesera (Gako) and Rusizi districts. It will directly benefit more than 650 producers, processors and merchants, 74% of whom are women working in informal cross-border trade. During its operational phase, the project will focus on the training of trainers. It will indirectly impact 1,950 producers, processors, merchants, and customs agents, as well as 1,560 community animal health agents, 416 area veterinarians, 30 district veterinary agents and 20 veterinary agents from the Rwandan Office of Agricultural Development. Abattoirs in Koadu,  Rugano, Rugari, Santra and Saban will also be supported. The project covers two of Rwanda’s busiest cross-border trade frontiers where large trucks haul goods between Gisenyi and Goma in the Rubavu district, and “Rusizi I,” connecting Kamembe to Bukavu in the Rusizi district.

The value chain trade competitiveness project will complement the “Gako Beef” initiative, a flagship livestock and meat production scheme started by the Rwandan government in 2015 to increase meat production for local markets and for export.

5.   Project to Enhance the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Export Growth Initiatives

The project has an overall objective of increasing employment in Rwanda’s manufacturing, agro-processing and services sectors and improving Rwanda’s balance of trade by increasing the presence of Rwanda produced goods and services in domestic and foreign markets. The project has an overall objective of facilitating supplier development and market linkages to boost value added sectors (manufacturing, agro-processing, services) growth, job contribution and exports through: Establishing institutional mechanisms and strengthening capacity to coordinate market linkages between domestic suppliers, domestic buyers and regional markets; and facilitating firm level support (capacity training, access to finance through EGF, logistics support, standards, technology adoption, export capacity) to supply domestic and regional markets.

The program is expected to result in: Increased number of jobs created directly by firms supported through the program with a focus on women owned businesses; Number of BDS providers including export support services in their product offer Increased percentage of goods and services sourced from Rwandan producers by major buyers in Rwanda’s hospitality, retail and manufacturing / agro-processing sectors; Increased volume and value of exports from firms supported under the program. The project has a total budget of US$ 1,825,450 and will run from 2020-2022.

6.   Made in Rwanda Secretariat

The secretariat is based in SPIU-MINICOM purposely to coordinate Made in Rwanda Policy under Ministry of Trade and Industry and is funded by Government of Rwanda. The   Made   in   Rwanda   Policy is a holistic   roadmap aimed   at   increasing economic competitiveness by enhancing Rwanda’s domestic market through value chain development. It does so through two channels: firstly, it brings together existing government interventions under a clear policy framework; secondly, it addresses supply-side bottlenecks via targeted interventions aimed at deepening specific high potential value chains, improving quality, and boosting cost competitiveness.

This policy will be implemented in close coordination with other Government agencies and with private sector partners. While  MINICOM  will  be  the  overall  Policy  lead,  the  Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) will lead on market access and  quality,  respectively.  Much of the policy is dependent on close consultation and coordination with these stakeholders, which will be sought through the development of direct market interventions. The Industrial Development and Export Council (IDEC) will be the main monitoring   body,   supported   closely   by   the Private   Sector   Development   and   Youth Employment (PSDYE) Sector Working Group.

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