25 March 2019

Rwanda: Kenya Senate Speaker Tours Rubavu Borders

The speaker of Kenya's Senate, Kenneth Lusaka, on Sunday toured Petite Barriere Border Post and La Corniche One Stop Border Post; the two borders linking Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo through Rubavu District.

Lusaka, who is in Rwanda for a working visit, was accompanied by his Rwanda counterpart, Bernard Makuza, together with other senior officials from both countries.

He toured different departments of the busy border crossings during which he was explained the different services offered to Rwandan and Congolese citizens who cross to either side in their thousands every day.

Among the services the Kenyan top legislator witnessed was how border services have gone digital whereby border communities tap their IDs while departing to DR Congo.

The delegation also visited the new Rubavu Cross Border Market complex which is located near Petite Barriere Border Post.

Addressing the media after his tour, Speaker Lusaka said that his visit to Rubavu was aimed at witnessing cross-border business in line with a memorandum of understanding he signed last week with his Rwandan counterpart.

"As you may know, as a region we try to encourage cross-border business and that's what the East African Protocol stipulates; how can we make business easier across our borders? We just came to appreciate what Rwanda has done with DRC," he said.

"As the Senate of the Republic of Kenya, we also want to make legislation that will make it easier for us to continue doing business as a region, we are very grateful for what we have seen in this part of Rwanda," added Lusaka.

He underscored that the facilitation Rwanda has put in place for people to cross the border with ease is something that he encourages other countries to do to ease doing business for the region.

He also took on Twitter to express how he has been impressed with how people are screened for diseases before entering Rwanda.

"Health Officials at OSBPs (One Stop Border Posts) play a vital role to protect the local & national communities by flagging potential disease and infections at Port Entry. Ease of migration globally promotes exponential increase and reemergence of international disease threats," he wrote on his timeline.

On his part, Makuza said the visit by his Kenyan counterpart was important to the existing bilateral cooperation stressing that it will particularly cement friendship between the two Houses.

He revealed that the Kenyan delegation wanted to witness how business works at the borders of Rwanda and DRC, stressing that, "Though the latter in not an EAC member country, the model can be replicated at the borders of EAC member countries."

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