From Public Communications Officer
Date : 13.8.2015
By Sammy Kwichichi Wekesa
Kenya and Tanzania have launched a pilot programme on the operation of a One Stop Border Posts(OSBP) concept at Taveta and Holili in a bid to reduce time taken to clear goods and services destined for the two countries.
Opening a two-day joint capacity building workshop for Namanga border post stakeholders with critical OSBPs operations skills, Mr. Konchellah said the Partner States of the East African Community would greatly benefit from the new concept by reducing the time taken to clear goods and services along their borders b y between 30 and 40 per cent.
He said the One Stop Border Posts also aim to improve on enforcement of efficiency through cooperation, sharing of intelligence and better resource utilization. ‘The concept also provides for sharing of ideas, information and experiences’. He stressed.
The Principal Secretary further added the OSBP can also be used to combat fraud by enabling easy and faster clearance of goods on the basis of a single customs declaration, thereby preventing the substitution of one set of documents with another.
As a result, he added, Kenya plans to launch the OSBP Facility Management and Trade facilitation Committees at all its borders to provide leadership on OSBP operations going forward.
In a speech read on his behalf by a Director in the Department Mr. Alfred Kitolo, at Namanga, Tanzania, Mr. Konchellah stressed the need for coordinated border management structures to ensure sustainability and proper coordination of border controls. He commended the Japanese Development Aid Agency (JICA) for supporting the training of Border Posts management committees.
He assured that the EAC Integration was on course, as the region has started reaping the benefits of integ ration process. The ongoing construction of Namanga border post will cost over ksh.825.7million, with the government contributing half of the total costs. The government has also spent ksh492.3million towards the Taveta/ Holili OSBP Border post which is now under operation, he said.
Mr. Konchellah said Kenya and Uganda will soon operationalize the Isebania, Malaba and Lunga Lunga border posts, whose construction was funded by the World Bank.
JICA Trade facilitation Project Team Leader Ms Yoko Konishi said her government was committed to support the regional integration through funding of capacity building of the OSBPs management committees.
Director Kitolo said once the 15 border posts were converted into OSBPs, they will operate like airports facilities, where all operating agencies will be housed under one roof.
Eng. Hoseah Nyangweso of the EAC Secretariat said construction of the Namanga was 80 per cent ready despite the many challenges facing it such as delayed payment of the contractor by the government.
Namanga Assistant Commisioner Ms Mary Kahari called for sober approach to all the challenges facing the two nations’ people while handling issues of immigration, goods and services at the border. She said the government will continue to address issues of insecurity along the common border.