TradeMark launches innovation fund

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has set aside a total of $15 million (25.5bn/-) that will be awarded to investors in the transport sector who may come up with projects that will reduce transportation costs across the region.

The money has been set aside under TMEA’s Logistics Innovation for Trade (LFT) Fund project.

Winning proposals will receive grant funds ranging from $250,000 (425m/-) and $750,000 (1.27bn/-), according to the fund manager, Isaac Njoroge.

“LIFT aims at harnessing the strengths of the private sector, which includes the abilities to innovate and develop products that can transform the lives of people throughout the East African region,” he said.

The fund is open to businesses and individuals throughout the world that are operating or will operate in the EAC.

“These costs seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries, thus reducing trade, economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. LIFT is designed to change this by supporting and adding to existing activities of TMEA,” he said.

The TMEA Tanzania country director, Dr Josephat Kweka, said the LIFT Fund will contribute to a significant reduction in transport and other logistics related costs.  

‘’This is a great opportunity for the logistics and transport industry in Tanzania to accelerate efforts in reducing transport time and cost by leveraging technology and breakthroughs in ICT. I hope that the project will attract good project proposals that are capable of bringing innovations in the industry,” he says.

Successful LIFT project applicants will contribute to the TMEA objective of reducing transport time along the main East Africa transport corridors by 15 per cent by 2016, he said.

According to the chairman for Tanzania Truck Drivers Association Mr David Masanja, it was imperative for such a fund to focus attention upon training the drivers of cross-border trucks and buses in order to avoid unnecessary costs resulting from reckless driving.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Ludger Kasumuni from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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