#IncludeEveryone: A look at the nominees for #DIAA2019 Commendation for Trade Digitization.

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A team of Trade Facilitators from Uganda, DRC, Kenya and Rwanda is taken through the RECTs operations.

Like the case of 2018 edition, the 2019 Digital Impact Awards Africa (#DIAA2019) has the Commendation for Trade Digitization category.

The difference though is that while in 2018, this category had no nominees and the winner selected by the Awards Jury; this year, the category has nominees and the winner will come from a combined public vote/jury assessment.

The Commendation for Trade Digitization seeks to recognize and appreciate an individual, government or non-government agency that is spearheading the digitalization of trade through introducing, funding, facilitating and supporting the use of technology to improve trade in Uganda.

The three nominees for Commendation for Trade Digitization are the Uganda Electronic Single Window, the Uganda Trade Information Portal and the extension of the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking system (RECTs) from Uganda to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

RECTs extension to DR Congo.

On 9th July, 2019; the DRC Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDA) and the Ugandan Revenues Authority (URA) signed the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking system (RECTs) standards operating procedures, marking the launch of the RECTs control centre extension to DRC cargo. RECTs is now operational in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and now DRC with Congo’s control station hosted in Kampala.

The introduction of an electronic cargo tracking system to the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to DR Congo is expected to reduce transit costs by reducing lengthy transit times caused by physical checks in transit countries and across the DRC territory. The system will also reduce the risk of freight diversion between the place of origin and checkpoints. As a result, it will effectively combat fraud and increase tax revenues. The RECTS will also benefit the eastern Africa region as a whole in which goods to or from DRC will transit including; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.

This RECTs extension project is facilitated by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) through a USD 642,000 fund from the Department of International Development (DFID).

Uganda Trade Information Portal.

Launched in November 2018, the Uganda Trade Information Portal (www.ugandatrades.go.ug) is a trade facilitation digital platform providing access to fully transparent practical step-by-step guides to the licenses, pre-clearance permits and clearance formalities for the most traded goods (exports, imports and goods in transit) in and out of Uganda. At each step, the trade portal tells the user where to go, who to see, what documents to bring, what forms to fill, what costs to pay, what law justifies the step and where to complain to in case of a problem.

The Trade Information Portal is implemented by the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) and the National Trade Facilitation Committee, in partnership with the East African Community Secretariat (EAC) and with support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Trade Centre (ITC).

A user checks out the Uganda Trade Information Portal through a tablet.

Uganda Electronic Single Window.

The Uganda Electronic Single Window (www.singlewindow.go.ug) is a trade platform that lets Traders, Clearing and Forwarding firms submit and process import, export and transit related trade documents electronically while enabling real-time exchange and sharing of information and documentation between various customs and cross border agencies.

With the Uganda Electronic Single Window, traders are now able to clear and forward goods in record time, handle less paperwork, reduce their transaction costs and e-track shipments across borders via any internet enabled device.

As of May 2019, the Uganda Electronic Single Window had already connected and interlinked 16 trade facilitation agencies. These include Uganda National Drug Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, and Uganda Coffee Development Authority. More are to be added.

The Uganda Electronic Single Window is implemented by Ministry Of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives and Uganda Revenue Authority. It is funded by Danida through TradeMark East Africa.

The overall winner for the #DIAA2019 Commendation for Trade Digitization will be determined by a Jury/Research Panel assessment and public survey/vote.

Under the theme #IncludeEveryone, Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion and Cybersecurity. Precisely; the Awards seek to recognize, celebrate and appreciate different individuals and organizations that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to better serve their communities.

HiPipo looks forward to host all the nominees and other players come 20th September 2019 at Kampala Serena Hotel. Contact the #DIAA2019 team to book your attendance package Standard ($1,595) for awards attendance Or Corporate ($3,450), Corporate Branded ($5,200) that will give you access to Include Everyone – Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and Panel discussions with Digital Leaders.