EAC steps up construction of the unified border posts

What you need to know:

  • The jointly operated and unified border posts are being built to facilitate speedy movement of people and goods

Arusha. The East African Community (EAC) has embarked on the construction of unified border posts to link the bloc with other regional economic communities (RECs).

The new one-stop border posts (OSBPs) include the one at Tunduma-Nankonde on the border of Tanzania and Zambia and at Moyale at the Kenya-Ethiopia boundary.

This was announced here last week during a meeting of the EAC Committee on Customs, which took stock on the progress made to operationalise border facilities.

The jointly operated and unified border posts have been built to facilitate speedy movement of people and goods across the region.

At each facility, normally put up at a major route linking states, the immigration, customs, bureaux of standards, phytosanitary inspections, goods clearance and allied services are provided under one roof.

Already 13 of them have been operationalised with those linking Tanzania with its neighbours located at Horohoro, Holili, Namanga, Sirari, Mutukula, Rusumo and Kabanga, among others.

The Arusha meeting was told that EAC with the support of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) was finalising the completion of the Malaba OSBP on the Kenya/Uganda border at a cost of $ 7.5 million.

TMEA, a non-profit organisation supporting trade facilitation in the region, is also behind the construction of a similar facility at Elegu-Nimule on the Uganda-South Sudan border.

New OSBPs have also been proposed between Tanzania’s border with Mozambique while Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda will establish similar facilities along their long borderline with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

EAC officials say new OSBPs between the region and the neighbouring blocs are being established to consolidate and replicate the gains attained from the implementation of the concept.

For their part, analysts say when fully operationalised, revenue collection and efficiency of movement of goods and people would improve by between 30 and 40 per cent. Also to be achieved is a 30 per cent reduction time in exiting one country and entering another.

They will serve as catalysts in promoting cross-border trade within the bloc.