Rwanda launches online cargo tracking system to promote trade
By Emmanuel RUTAYISIRE
Rwanda has launched the East African joint electronic cargo tracking system to cut further on the barriers to a seamless cross border trade on the northern corridor, one of its key routes to the port and mordernise tax administration process.
The Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS), an initiative stemming from a directive of Heads of Sates of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda is expected to drastically reduce on the transit time for goods from Mombasa port to Kigali from 11 to 5 days.
This is because cargo is electronically tracked via one system from the point of loading to destination; through control rooms in Nairobi, Kampala and Kigali stakeholders in the cross border trade are able to monitor the transit cargo to detect theft, route diversion, un necessary delays on the road, alterations on liquid products like fuel and cooking oil.
Previously, the three countries have monitored cargo but in a fragmented way with each country running its own tracking system, a development that causes delays as a truck has to change from one system to the other at every border post.
Also, this did not remove mistrust hence multiple weigh bridges along the corridor, RECTS will render the bridges useless because it enhances transparence.
Mr. Richard Tusabe, RRA Commissioner General, says the system will improve on tax revenues as it mitigates against revenue leakage and allows the tax body to give more confidence to the business community to trade with ease without the inconvenience of physical inspection processes.
The commissioning of the project is an exciting achievement to Rwanda which is far from the port because any extra charge on the transit cargo puts her at a disadvantage in the cross border trade setting. It enhances her competitiveness in the international trade process.
At the EAC level, the system which runs on the shared resources speaks directly into the advancement of the integration agenda.