RECOGNITION

TradeMark's Frank Matsaert conferred Member of the Order of the British Empire

This is for his "trail blazing" work in trade in East Africa.

In Summary

•As the founding CEO , Matsaert, has steered the organisation to grow from a modest budget of $ 42 million in 2010, to approximately $1.2 billion by April this year.

•TMEA has grown over the decade to become the leading Aid for Trade agency globally, with remarkable results in reducing the time and costs of trading across EAC.

Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA, and Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer at TMEA after signing the MoU where they have agreed to join forces to unlock Africa’s trade potential
Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA, and Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer at TMEA after signing the MoU where they have agreed to join forces to unlock Africa’s trade potential
Image: HANDOUT

Her Royal Highness the Queen of England has conferred TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) CEOxecutive Officer, Frank Matsaert the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

This is for his "trail blazing" work in trade and economic development in East Africa.

On receiving the news, Frank noted that the award represents the collective work that has been accomplished by working closely with TMEA key stakeholders.

“I am deeply honoured by the Queen and UK government for this recognition of TradeMark East Africa’s work in supporting trade and economic development in Eastern Africa over the last twelve years,"Matsaert said.

"It has been a privilege and an honour to found and lead such a dynamic and impactful organisation,” he added.

As the founding CEO of TMEA, Matsaert, has steered the organisation to grow from a modest budget of $ 42 million (Sh4.9 billion) in 2010, to approximately $1.2 billion (Sh140.1 billion) by April this year.

The organisation has experienced robust growth over the decade to become the leading Aid for Trade agency globally, with remarkable results in reducing the time and costs of trading across EAC.

This is through investments at the Port of Mombasa, 15 completed One-Stop Border Posts across the EAC region, Customs systems at Uganda Revenue Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Burundi Revenue Authority and Rwanda Revenue Authority.

"Matsaert’ s vision has led TMEA to partner with governments across the region to lay the building blocks for a digital trade and transport corridor," TMEA said in a statement.

Starting out in only five countries in East Africa, TMEA has grown to spread its footprint to a total of thirteen countries, as it spread its operations towards the Horn and South African region.

Already plans are underway for the organisation to launch operations in West Africa following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Union, to support among other areas the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The organisation is credited to have among others, contributed to growth of intraregional exports by about 25 per cent; a 16.5 per cent reduction of time to transport a container from the Ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to Burundi or Rwanda, and a 10 per cent rise in the value of exports from the region.

It has also helped reduce the time to cross select borders across East Africa by an average of 70 per cent, through the OSBPs initiative.

 An independent evaluation by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom released in 2019 found out that TMEA interventions had reduced trade costs along East African trade corridors by $ 115.9 million in 2017 alone, expecting the figure to accrue many times cumulatively.

Frank said:“I am indebted to our excellent team, and partners across Eastern Africa, without whom none of the results we have generated would have been possible. Sincere thanks also to our excellent Board and Council for their guidance, and to our donors for their unwavering support on growing prosperity through trade in Africa".

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