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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
NMC members trained on SMS feedback system
 
Posted on : 25 - Oct - 2013 - Viewed : 658 times

The training was conducted in Kigali at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday 10th October 2013 on the invitation of the same ministry. In total, 28 participants attended the training.
Mr. Safari Innocent, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of East Africa Affairs (MINEAC) opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the training.

He stated that the aim of the training was to considerably equip the Rwanda’s NMC members with adequate and basic knowledge on the SMS feedback system which will enable them to timely report any NTB or challenge that they encounter in the EAC. The system also serves as an online tool that traders can use to ask question on EAC regional integration matters by just sending an sms.
The PS further noted that the training has been designed to ensure interaction between policy makers and traders. This is why the system provides space for feedback so that traders and other people can receive feedback on what is being done on their issues. Therefore the system was designed to ensure communication and information on EAC regional integration issues.

He also indicated that Rwanda accessed EAC in 2007 as a member or partner state but become member of the EAC Customs Union and Common Market in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
He mentioned that despite the fact that the customs union and common market protocols that stipulate that countries have to eliminate NTBs and refrain from introducing new ones, NTBs have rather persisted.
The sms system will thus help to provide information needed to eradicate identified barriers to cross border trade. The sms will be launched very soon, indicated the PS.
The PS finally wished a fruitful training session to NMC members.

Trainers were informed that any user can access the system by sending an sms in either Kinyarwanda, English, French or Swahili to 2525 while in Rwanda and to +250789252525.
After sending the sms, the user will receive an automatic notification that his query is being delt with. The sms goes immediately to the system administrator. However, the user can send it immediately to concerned institutions called super users or focal points that have access to the system such as RRA, immigration, Police, PSF, MINICOM, MINECOFIN and our embassies in the EAC. The user will only be required to type the mentioned institution before he/she starts drafting his/her message. The SMS is free of charge in Rwanda and the system is linked to MINEAC twitter account.

The system can further be accessed online on the following link www.sms.mineac.gov.rw.
Participants appreciated MINEAC innovation and recommended massive sensitization campaigns so that transporters, exporters and importers can be aware of the system. The campaigns need to also reach Rwanda border posts.

While closing the training, the acting Director General of Trade and Investment at MINICOM, Mr. Robert Opirah, thanked participants of their precious time and expressed gratitude to MINEAC for facilitating the training session as well as supporting MINICOM in the fight for removal of NTBs. He also thanked trainers for their availability and valuable time. Finally he commended the good work of Rwanda NMC and reiterated Government support and commitment to advocate for elimination of NTBs for a sustainable conducive business environment in the EAC region

 
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