Uganda for Easier Border [opinion]

Trade on the Kenya -Uganda border is likely to become much easier with the completion of the Busia One Stop Border Post (OSBP) which will be completed early next year.

While briefing media last weetk, Ms Edith Mwanje , the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Community Affairs said, the aim of constructing these One Stop Border Posts is to reduce on the duplication of procedures that cause delays in trade and loss of money, improving on the services offered by different clearing agencies and also enhance on regional integration for better trade.

“Once complete, all different departments that do clearing of goods and services will be able to share information and sit in the same place. This means that clearing goods which has been taking days will be done in hours and this of course will improve on regional trade,” Mwanje said.

TradeMark East Africa has also financed the construction of one stop border points in Mutukula, Mirama hills and EleguNimule worth $10m each and also upgraded the 37km Ntugamo-Mirama hills road from murrum to tarmac.

Mwanje said their Kenyan counterparts who are already using part of the facility have registered great improvement in the way businesses are transacted at the border. “The facility will accommodate different clearing agencies like Uganda revenue authority (URA), Immigration offices, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Health, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), insurance companies, baking services, Ministry of works and transport, customs union offices, National Drug Authority, Energy and Fuel sector and police. These different agencies will be able to share information with the aid of single customs window which will be launched soon and if used effectively, a trader will be saved the burden of running from one office to another, collecting documents.”

Okot Jimmy Kippoli, the LCI chairman, Busia center said Busia as a village was going to gain from this project as there are a lot of services that have been provided to the people of Busia because of this project.

“My people are earning something from trade as the border. This construction has attracted a number of people from other parts of Uganda and Kenya. Also trademark East Africa has provided us with services like women aisory groups, counseling services and also, it is easy for local people to do trade now as it is easy to clear compared to how it was in the past with a lot of harassment from clearing agents. We hope that with the completion of this facility, services will even get better.” Okot said

Source : East African Business Week

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