Great Lakes Project to Streamline Cross Border Trading

The Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project aims to clear logistical and administrative logjams at busy border crossings.

President Yoweri Museveni has told the United Nations summit that in order to build effective, information pills inclusive and accountable institutions at all levels, order there is need to ensure that the voices of developing countries and regions are heard and that they are treated as equal partners in multilateral decision-making.

“At the international level, search we need urgent reform of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council and other multilateral institutions to reflect the current geo-political realities, the President said.

Museveni said there was need for a renewed global partnership for development in which all the commitments made, including on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), trade and investment are fulfilled.

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President Museveni was on Friday co-chairing the opening Plenary meeting of the summit for the adoption of the post 2015 Development agenda in New York together with the Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

According to Museveni, while the Agenda represents the collective aspirations of all peoples, its success will hinge on its ability to reduce inequalities and improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us, including women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The President had earlier on held a tri-lateral meeting with PM Rasmussen and the 70th President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykettoft.

Museveni said after months of intense negotiations and steadfast commitment, they have before them an Agenda that represents the best opportunity to transform the world.

The President also paid tribute to exiting 69th UN President Sam Kutesa for his leadership and accomplishments during his tenure.

“We have heard the voices of people spanning the globe, from eager children asking for access to a quality education to young women seeking better maternal health; from rural villagers whose farmlands have been ravaged by droughts to the coastal fishermen on Small Island States who fear their entire existence will soon be swallowed up by rising sea levels,” he said.

The President who moderated the meeting for over two hours told the summit that they continue to witness the influx of refugees and migrants into Europe from Africa and the Middle East, which is partly caused by conflict and lack of economic opportunities.

“These voices may speak many languages and dialects, but in the end their message is the same ? please help us to live happier, more prosperous lives, while also protecting the planet for our children and grandchildren,” he added.

“After adoption of this Agenda, it is incumbent upon us all to take the development aspirations laid out in this document and turn them into reality on the ground; for our people, our communities and our nations. This agenda will create global prosperity different from the past arrangements of prosperity for some through parasitism and misery and under-development for others,” he added.
The World Bank and the Governments of Uganda, dosage Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an initiative that aims to address the daily hazards faced by small scale traders and at the same time boost a vital part of the region’s growing economy.

Implemented in cooperation with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa or COMESA, sales the Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project aims to clear logistical and administrative logjams at busy border crossings, what is ed reduce corruption and the harassment of traders—particularly women—boost local and regional economies, and alleviate poverty.

The World Bank disclosed that the project will unfold in two phases, beginning with grants and credits totaling $79 million for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, and a second phase totaling $61 million for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia.

“The economic impact, particularly from the 20,000 to 30,000 small-scale traders that cross the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda each day, is crucial for the Great Lakes region,” said Paul Brenton, one of the World Bank’s Task Team Leaders for the project.

The project will fuse both physical and logistical improvements in customs and border facilities with policy and procedural reforms and capacity building.

According to World Bank, the project will for example fund construction of shelters for traders waiting at the border; automated turnstiles to facilitate more speedy passage through the border and less physical contact with, and therefore potential harassment from, border officials; gender sensitivity training for border officials; and the enshrinement of policies such as a requirement that inspections of female traders be conducted by female officials.

The goal is to improve the efficiency, capacity, and security of border operations at a number of key border crossings connecting the economies of these countries, thus improving the economic health of the region.


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