Kenya, Tanzania usher in new era of trade with border post

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Maghufuli will on Saturday launch a one-stop border post (OSBP) along the common border.

Kenneth Ochola, acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Control, said Thursday the launch of the border post is set to mark a huge milestone in trade facilitation across the East African Community (EAC) and pave way for speedy clearance of goods moving in the main trade corridor between Kenya and Tanzania, hence more revenue.

“One of the major scores realized after its establishment has been a reduction in the time taken to clear people and goods from Kenya to Tanzania and vice versa,” Ochola said in the statement.

“In 2014, for instance, it took approximately 277 minutes to clear goods destined for Tanzania from Kenya. This time has now substantively reduced to about one hour thus saving valuable time since traders are able to make available their products to the market within a shorter time,” Ochola said.

The Namanga OSBP is part of the EAC regional initiative, which is implemented jointly with Kenya and Tanzania and supported by development partners and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Namanga OSBP, which was first opened in October 2017, ushered in the era of harmonized border services between the two nations and has since eradicated the myriad bottlenecks that stood in the way of efficient service delivery at the facility.

The border post also boosts the tourism industry for both Kenya and Tanzania, given that it is the point tourists use to enter either country especially during the famous wildebeest migration.

The Namanga post is among the 13 border posts in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania that have been converted from two-stop border posts into single premises entity to facilitate movement of people and goods across the EAC.