7 May 2018

Kenya: Namanga One-Stop Border Post Aims at Easing Kenya-Tanzania Frosty Trade Relations

Photo: The Citizen Tanzania
President John Magufuli spoke during the launching ceremony of the One Stop Border Post at the Tanzania-Kenya border located at Namanga in Longido District, Arusha Region.

Nairobi — Clearance of goods at the Namanga border is expected to ease with the operationalization of a modern one-stop border post on Tuesday.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch the border post to enhance efficiency at the Kenya-Tanzania border.

The opening of the one-stop border post comes amidst an on-and-off trade spat between Kenya and Tanzania that has seen the two neighbours restrict movement of select goods due to tariff and non-tarriff barriers.

The latest trade disagreement was a week ago when Tanzanian Authorities blocked confectionary from Kenya on what was believed to be a misinterpretation of a duty exemption rule on sugar products, according to Kenya Revenue Authorities.

Speaking during his weekly briefing, Esipisu said the one-stop border post is in line with the government's commitment to the improvement of regional transport infrastructure, which remains a key priority to all East Africa Community states.

"It will spearhead the ease of movement of goods and people within the region," Esipisu said on Sunday.

The one-stop border post also aims at deepening policy integration and reducing barriers to trade in the region.

"Additionally, the Namanga One Stop Border Post will boost trade by improving coordination and collaboration between the different agencies, thus contributing to a reduction in transport cost, whilst increasing volumes of transit cargo through the Northern Corridor," he added.

The customs facility comprises offices and space for immigration processes and verification; warehousing and cold rooms for the goods traded across the border and facilities for expediting trade.

The launch of the Namanga One Stop Border Post comes after the inauguration of the Busia One Stop Border Post in February this year by President Kenyatta and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

"The opening of these One Stop Border Posts underscore Kenya's commitment to the AfCFTA particularly our undertaking to reduction of trade barriers and enhancing free movement of persons, goods and services," he said.

Kenya and Tanzania have seen a steady growth in revenue from cross-border trade since the introduction of the one-stop border posts four years ago.

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