7 January 2013

Zambia: Cross-Border Traders Want Extended Clearing Hours

The Cross-Border Traders Association has appealed to the Government to consider prolonging the working hours of the country's border facilities with no power by using solar energy.

The traders' representative Mary Katema said now that there was increased trade among Southern African Development Community(SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA) member states, there was need for countries in the region to extend the working hours of their border facilities which have no power by adopting the use of solar energy.

"Now that security threats among SADC and COMESA member states are on a decline and commerce and trade has drastically increased, our countries have more to gain than lose from increased border posts working hours including those which have no power," she said.

Ms Katema said adopting the use of solar powered facilities in the manner it was being done at Nyamapanda Border Post between Zimbabwe and Mozambique was an economical and efficient way to run the border which could be adopted by other countries in the region.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has come up with a system of using solar system at its border facilities starting with the border post with Mozambique.

The use of solar energy is being used to help alleviate power shortages that have been affecting the operations of customs clearance.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority introduced a solar system at Nyamapanda, the first solar system of its kind to be installed in the country.

The technology has 125 solar panels and an inverter with a capacity to produce 20 kilovolts of electricity helping power among others more than 30 computers at the site.

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