Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) has signed a partnership agreement of 150.0 million shillings with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to support the enhancement and usage of the National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya TradeNet) and implementation of the Maritime Single Window in Kenya.
The agreement was signed at TradeMark East Africa offices, Nairobi by KenTrade Chief Executive Officer, Amos Wangora and TMEA, Kenya Country Director, Ahmed Farah in the presence of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of KenTrade Mr. Suleiman Shahbal.
TMEA with funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) will support Single Window enhancement. Additionally, the funding will be used to automate Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) processes or enhance their existing Systems to increase utilization of the Kenya TradeNet System.
These improvements are aimed at reducing trade-related costs and time with a view to reducing the cost of doing business in Kenya.
Speaking at the event, TMEA Kenya Country Director Ahmed Farah said, “TradeMark East Africa is committed to growing prosperity through trade in the Eastern Africa region, and we recognize the impact of the single window on the trade value chain. That is why we are committing to support the enhancement of this system in order to increase its capacity as an effective trade facilitation tool. It complements with our other investments at the port of Mombasa, with Kenya Revenue Authority, and at various one-stop border posts.”
On his part, KENTRADE CEO, Amos Wang’ora said, “So far, 11,400 users are registered in the National Single window; with 36 Government Agencies onboard. We have processed more than 1,707,642 permits since we went live. Over time the System has simplified trade procedures and processes which has resulted to reduction of delays, improved convenience, and substantial cost savings as well as improved Collaboration between Government Agencies among other benefits. The new funding will help us increase these benefits even more.”
Implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System commenced in 2012 and the system was rolled out in 2013. Today, KenTrade has successfully implemented 21 modules and their functionalities in the Kenya TradeNet System. Currently, there are over 11,500 registered users with 36 Partner Government Agencies (PGA’s) onboard the System. More than 1,707,642 permits have been processed through the TradeNet System since it went live. In addition, the business community has realized savings estimated at US$25.36 million (KShs. 2.5 billion) as traders compliance costs associated with transport/travel, time, administration (e.g. document preparation, photocopying) and telecommunication have been reduced or eliminated.
As part of the Partner Support Agreement, TMEA will also support KenTrade in the implementation the Maritime Single Window (MSW) to comply with the International Maritime Organization Convention on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic known as FAL Convention. Kenya is among the 120 Governments (member states) that have ratified the FAL Convention.
The FAL Convention recommends the use of the “Single Window” concept in which the agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact. KenTrade has been working together with Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) to implement an E-Maritime Module on the Single Window System to allow Shipping Agents in Kenya to electronically submit vessel pre-arrival and pre-departure FAL declarations to government agencies mainly Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, State Department of Immigration, Port Health the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services and Kenya Police.
TMEA is also supporting KenTrade in building capacity in data processing and reporting as part of this initiative through the acquisition of a Business Intelligence tool and its integration to the Single Window System.
The partnership between TMEA and KenTrade has been on-going for a number of years and previously TMEA has supported KenTrade in designing a business model and tariff regime to ensure the sustainability of the Single Window System services. TMEA has also partnered with KenTrade in building the capacity of a number of Partner Government Agencies and integration of their systems with the Single Window System.