EAC develops training curriculum to facilitate operationalization of One Stop Border Posts
East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 01 December 2016:
A two-day regional consultative workshop aimed at developing a training curriculum for One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) operations in the East African Community is currently ongoing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The main objective of the consultative workshop is to create a platform of interaction at the technical level between relevant stakeholders with a view to develop a training curriculum on OSBPs to enhance and accelerate their smooth operationalization.
The workshop will also look at how best to allow the different agencies to play their roles at the OSBPs and work together.
Addressing the participants at the official opening today, the EAC Director for Infrastructure, Mr. Philip Wambugu appreciated the Germany Technical Cooperation Agency, GIZ, for facilitating the workshop. The Director also recognized that the development of OSBPs in the region was being supported by many other development partners including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Trade Mark East Africa, among others.
The EAC official informed the participants that the World Bank had carried out a comprehensive study on the cost of transit transport in the region and that study found out,, among others, that approximately 40% of the cost (financial and temporal) was attributable to the two stop border posts in the region.
Arising from the recommendations of the study, the World Bank set aside resources to undertake a pilot programme to transform selected two border posts into OSBPs. In that programme the World Bank partnered with TMEA and the results were the development of a number of the current OSBPs including Holili/Taveta, Lungalunga/Horohoro, Malaba/Malaba, Milama Hills/Kagitumba border posts, among others.
“At the same time, JICA under the TICAD programme, had commenced the development of the Rusumo/Rusumo and in collaboration with the African Development Bank, the Namanga/Namanga border posts, Nemba/Gasenyi, and Ruhwa. All these border posts comprise the many operational OSBPs in the region” disclosed Mr. Wambugu.
He informed the participants that with JICA support, the EAC developed the OSBP Law to support and anchor the operationalisation of the OSBPs in the region. That Law has since been assented to and the development of regulations and operational manuals is in the final stages. The EAC OSBP Law, which commenced operations on 1st of October, 2016, largely informed the development of the continental OSBP Sourcebook launched by the CEO of NEPAD on the side-lines of the 6th TICAD Summit in Nairobi, Kenya in August, 2016.
He said the OSBPs have or is easing border crossings and reducing dwell-times at the common borders. “This improvement, coupled with the enhancements on the vehicle load control, removal of the many illegal road blocks, the reduction of other Non-Tariff barriers, the implementation of the Single Customs Territory, and the improved road networks will certainly precipitate to the reduction of the costs of transit transport in the region, a cry that has persisted for a long time from transporters, industrialists and other business persons in the region”, reiterated the EAC official.
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Notes to Editor:
The operationalisation of OSBPs in the region is not without challenges. Some of the challenges relate to inadequate infrastructure at many of these border posts including housing for staff, amenities such as schools and hospitals, holding grounds for quarantined animals, insufficient water resources and in some cases unreliable power supply and not the least human capacity and skills shortfalls in a number of critical areas.
In order to realize the goal of African integration, there is need to ensure smooth management of borders allowing swift and hustle-free movement of goods, persons, workers and services. This initiative will need to be bolstered by strengthening security measures that halt cross border criminal activities. Moving towards these goals the African Union, through its Border Program (African Union Border Program (AUBP) has encouraged/urged its member states to embrace a smoother management of border crossing points through installation and implementation of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs).
There are 77 borders in Africa that have been earmarked for OSBP construction with 15 of them being in East Africa Community (EAC). The OSBPs are therefore becoming more popular at the regional level. They are seen as a modern approach towards facilitating movement of goods, persons and services across national borders. The OSBP concept promotes simplification of controls at borders through a one-time check at the border between two countries. In practice, OSBP is achieved by placing the border officials of two adjoining countries at each other’s adjoining border post so that border control checks will be jointly conducted by relevant officers from the two neighbouring countries at once on the side of the entry country. Once such a check has taken place on one side of the border, no other check will follow. Operating OSBPs requires a tight coordinated cooperation between the agencies present at borders including immigration, police, customs, health etc.
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
East African Community
EAC Close, Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania
Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac [at] eachq.org