The Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP) launched its website on April 18, 2018 at a brief event hosted at the COMESA Secretariat. The website is one of the various communication tools being put in place to reach the diverse stakeholders and will also serve as a platform for highlighting regional issues of interest to both the project managers and the stakeholders.
GLTFP Coordinator Mr Thomas Barasa described the launch as timely as it will help the project teams to share information on the project activities. This is in addition to reaching out to the stakeholders and keeping them informed on project implementation.
The Secretariat is also developing the project’s communication and advocacy strategy that will detail other forms of communication channels.

Speaking at the launch, Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya described small scale cross border trade as an important undertaking which contributes to sustainable livelihoods of thousands of families in the three project counties, namely Uganda, DRC and Rwanda.

“Small scale cross border trade contributes significantly to flow of goods from surplus to deficit areas and thus greatly balances supply and demand and stabilizes prices, especially for food commodities, thus greatly enhancing household and national food security,” he said.

“I urge you all to take advantage of the website and other communication tools in order to keep abreast of issues and stories affecting small scale cross borer traders.”

The website, http://gltfp.comesa.int, was a product of several consultations with the three Member States, the World Bank and COMESA Secretariat.

The implementation of GLFTP started in June 2016. The project is funded by the World Bank. Its 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.
The total project amount is US$79 million distributed as follows: Rwanda $34 million, DR Congo US$30 million, Uganda US$10 million and US$5 million to COMESA Secretariat.