COMESA Secretariat working with the Implementation unit of the Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP) have started rolling out the communications strategy meant to enhance visibility of the project in the beneficiary countries.
The project is part of the wider World Bank Great Lakes Imitative (GLI) which reflects the commitment of the World Bank to assist countries of the Great Lakes Region to reduce poverty and promote common prosperity by targeting some of the most vulnerable groups in the border regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries namely Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The GLTFP aims to support peace and stability in the region through programs to improve livelihoods in the border areas, promoting cross-border trade and strengthening economic interdependence.
As part of its activities, a communications strategy was developed which highlights the importance of the media in communicating, advancing and publicizing the GLTFP Agenda within the region and beyond. The publicity efforts will involve modern information and communications technology as they make it easier to reach a wider audience.
The COMESA team joined by officials from the Ministry of Trade in Uganda and the Trade Information Desk Officer is in that country to among many other things supervise the rollout of radio campaigns in selected radio stations specifically those that have been contracted to run radio campaigns in Uganda’s Mpondwe and Bunagana borders.
The radio talk shows are aimed at reducing the information gap between the women small scale cross border traders and the various government agencies operating at the implementing border points. This is aimed at facilitating 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 team is led by GLTFP Procurement Expert Joyce Mutale who is accompanied by Daniel Ssekamwa, a senior commercial officer at the Ministry of Trade, industry and cooperatives in Uganda, Serge Musana, the Regional TIDO coordinator for the GLTFP and COMESA Communications Assistant Daniel Banda.