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, Philip Wambugu appreciated the Germany Technical Cooperation Agency, GIZ, for facilitating the workshop. He 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.
He informed 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 program 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 Wambugu.
He told 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.