Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project

Carmine Soprano
Gender & Youth Associate

Carmine has been currently involved in the design and supervision of a $150 million USD project funded by the World Bank, titledGreat Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP), currently implemented at selected border posts between Eastern DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The intervention aims at improving the livelihoods of small-scale cross-border traders and border officials through targeted measures, including infrastructural development, policy & procedural reforms to streamline clearance requirements, performance-based management systems for border agencies, and extensive awareness-raising and capacity building. The project also works to strengthen the institutional capacity of key counterpart Ministries in each target country, as well as of regional organization such as the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), whilst also leveraging regional trade schemes and policy measures in the attempt to promote stronger regional integration. Finally, the GLTFP has a strong gender dimension: since the vast majority of cross-border traders in each country are women, activities have been included in the project design to meet the specific needs of female project beneficiaries, including gender-sensitive border infrastructure and measures to prevent & mitigate the risk of gender-based violence (GBV) against traders.

So far, the project has already contributed to improving trading conditions and increasing trade volumes at target sites, whilst also enhancing overall border security for traders and officials. Further improvements are expected as key project milestones (e.g. finalization of border infrastructure) are achieved.