Seven new border posts connecting the East African Community are now complete boosting trade by 23% within the economic bloc.
Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa remarked that the use of One-Stop Business Posts (OSBPs) has minimized delays at the border posts on the major corridors in the region.
The prime minister was speaking on behalf of EAC chairperson John Magufuli at the third EAC assembly in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
He informed the house that out of the fifteen boarders earmarked to operate as OSBPs, 7 of them have been completed.
“Seven are complete and four others are operating as OSBPs using bilateral agreements,” said Mr Majaliwa in a statement, "Trade is now at 23%, over and above intra-African Trade figure of 12%.”
The OSBPs include three Kenya-Tanzania border posts converging at Lunga Lunga/HoroHoro, Holili/Taveta, Isebania/Sirari and the Rwanda-Burundi OSBP linking at Gasenyi/Nemba in Rusizi district.
Others are; Uganda - Rwanda border posts linking at Kagitumba/Mirama Hills and Rwanda- Tanzania border posts converging at Rusumo.
Mr Majaliwa noted in a statement that intra-EAC Trade was expected to register a phenomenal increase in the next few years. Already, there has been 300% increase in the value of trade from $2 Billion in 2005 to $6 Billion in 2014.
"These numbers coupled with the combined GDP of 110.3 Billion makes our region a formidable trading bloc", he added.
The majority of the border posts were completed late last year.
With the adoption of the OSBPs Bill in May 2010, the legal framework was set and member countries sealed the deal to establish 15-one stop border crossings in the five partner states including South Sudan.
The border posts have eased the custom clearance processes with traders. Traders now queue only once to exit and enter either of the countries and experience faster clearance.
Commenting on corruption, the Prime Minister stated that the Business community in the region had established a Code of Conduct which he said, would check on corruption. Mr Majaliwa thus hailed the East African Business Council (EABC) for signing commitments to the ethical business standards to guide collaboration between various stakeholders in promoting trade.
Image credit: Business Daily Africa