At the beginning of 2021, the Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) and the Intra-Regional Trade Facility (IRTF) invited private sector and civil society organisations in the East African Community Partner States to submit innovative ideas for small-scale projects. IIDEA concentrated on the areas of digitalisation/ICT, health and stakeholder engagement on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). IRTF invited project ideas in agri-business, tourism and initiatives that promote intra-EAC trade.
All project ideas had to involve at least two EAC Partner States and contribute to improving intra-regional trade in the EAC and facilitating advocacy of the private sector through their objectives, activities and outputs.
Experts of the EAC Secretariat, the IIDEA Committee and GIZ evaluated the fully developed and submitted projects according to the set criteria. Nine projects made it to the top of the list and were selected to receive funding for their six-month projects. All of them were supported by experts and a consultant to further fine-tune and sharpen their proposals and underwent a process of due diligence to assess their commercial suitability and make sure they had the capacities to fulfil the necessary administrative and financial requirements. This included technical training on the financial and narrative reporting requirements and project monitoring.
The Projects 2021/2022
Afro Ark: Buy East African. E-Commerce Platform for Agribusiness
Afro Ark develops an app called Buy East Africa App. It connects youth and women producers and traders of agro-based products in Rwanda and South Sudan to retailers and wholesalers.
LyfPlus Limited: EAC Cross-border Telemedicine Platform
LyfPlus develops a platform for integrated virtual physician consultation, diagnosis, e-prescription and electronic medical records with various healthcare providers involved. The platform will include a voice call solution for users without internet access. In its first phase it aims at cross-border truck drivers, traders and resident communities at Elegu, Busia and Akanyaru border points.
Advanced Smart Solutions Limited (ASSL): “A New Rx For More Effective Care in East Africa”
The objective of this project is to set up a trusted end-to-end platform for pharmaceutical products across East Africa. That will improve the efficiency of the Pharmaceutical Distribution Chain in East Africa and provide healthcare practitioners with accurate drug information reinforced by an Electronic Expert Support System (EESS).
Local Bookings: Strengthening the Regional Capacity of SME tourism service providers.
This project develops an East African nature-oriented, bottom-up designed travel website. The website will contain a centralised online room-booking website (B-B) and an e-marketplace (B-C) for domestic and international travellers based on cooperative frameworks and networks at the destination level. Locally registered SME tour operators, accommodation owners and stakeholders across East Africa can connect, communicate and network with one another seamlessly and effortlessly, in order to benefit from potential opportunities, create free flowing knowledge, and streamline and coordinate delivery.
Bird Uganda Safaris: Promoting East African Women Birders in Uganda and South Sudan
Training of 100 women bird guides in the border communities of Uganda and South Sudan in the communities of the Nimule-Elegu border. Topic include birdwatching as a career, designing and costing of tour packageswith the aim of increasing the number of femae tour guides in mainstream tourism. Additionally, BUS will work with their partner, South Sudan Safari Tours Limited to design new tour packages focusing on the promotion of cross-border tourism between Uganda and South Sudan.
Kigezi Biota: Unlocking Women’s Potential in Tourist Guiding in Uganda and Rwanda
This project facilitates apprenticeships and mentoring in tourist guiding for female tour guides from Uganda and Rwanda to acquire practical job experience and skills to improve their employment opportunities.
African Continental Free Trade Area
The Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI): Positioning Women Cross Border Traders to Seize Opportunities in the East African Community and Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
In order to facilitate AfCFTA to create a supportive regulatory and policy environment for women cross border traders, EASSI will conduct capacity building for 100 officials involved in cross border trade from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and 20 local government leaders. Representatives from the East African Legislative Assembly will also participate in the capacity building activities.
EASSI will profile businesses of 30 selected women cross border traders; 5 from each of the 6 partner states and publish them on relevant platforms, e.g. on the ITC ‘She Trades’ marketing platform.
TradeSmart Consult Ltd: Making the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Work for Women in EAC.
a) AfCFTA awareness creation to urban and cross border women traders in the EAC b) Assessing export readiness of these SMEs and cross border traders c) Providing tools to access market intelligence.
Ahadi Forum Tanzania (AFTA): Improve market access and increase income of women and youth engaged in bee keeping value chain
This project develops a contract model to improve the quality of honey and the productive capacity of women and youth engaged in bee keeping by teaching them improved methods of bee-keeping and linking them to reliable markets in Kenya through a Kenya-based honey processing company. Farmers receive modern bee keeping equipment and training on bee keeping best practises, apiary management, harvesting calendar, quality control, handling, storage and issues of value addition.