In a move that is expected to help increase efficiency of the Dar es Salaam Port over the next three years, Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) has launched the first of its USD 16 million Logistics Innovation for Trade Fund (LIFT), which will be used to reduce the cost of logistics and infrastructures through innovative solutions.
According to the TMEA Tanzania country director, Josephat Kweka, the East African region is known to have some of the highest freight and transport costs in the world and the LIFT Challenge Fund is expected to significantly contribute to improved trade and prosperity in East Africa through the provision of grants ranging in amount from USD 200,000 to USD 750,000.
Speaking during the same forum, the business representative of the Evergreen Shipping Line Tanzania, Quilnus Matembo, indicated that if anywhere from 45% to 50% of cargo that passes through Dar Port increase their efficiency at the port, the country will experience an increase in business.
“Anything that reduces freight and transport costs is good for our clients and the country,” he said.
The LIFT Fund was launched last year in an effort to increase competitiveness for the East African trading community while providing a significant reduction in transport and other logistics related costs by 15% along the main East Africa transport corridors by 2016.
According to the LIFT Fund Manager, Isaac Njoroge, who also spoke at the forum, the fund is open to both businesses and individuals across the globe that currently operate or that are planning to operate within the EAC.