TradeMark East Africa seeks development finance to lift regional trade

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 06:00

Border logistics are a brake on east African free trade. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Aid-for-trade organisation TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is in talks with development finance institutions (DFIs) to help east Africa realise its free-trade potential, new CEO David Beer tells The Africa Report.

The group is in “advanced” discussions with DFIs to raise finance for projects such as one-stop border posts, trade logistics parks and trade finance, Beer says. The aim, he says, is to attract finance that will improve trade infrastructure to the point where users will be prepared to pay for it.

Beer, based in Nairobi, took over from founding CEO Frank Matsaert on 1 September. He’s now developing a new 10-year strategy for TMEA which will include a focus on digitisation. TMEA has been a “victim of its own success” and now needs a “strategy 2.0”, he says.