Moyale One Stop Border Point launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed
14-12-2020 11:54:51 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 7330 | Tags:

The Moyale One Stop Border Point (OSBP) has been launched in a colourful event officiated by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta CGH President of the Republic of Kenya and H.E. Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia at the Moyale border point which adjoins the two neighbouring nations.

The border point is part of the LAPSSET project, and is situated approximately 800 Kilometres North of Nairobi, and 780 Kilometres South of Addis Ababa. Construction of the OSBP facility was completed in 2018, after which the facility has been kitted with appropriate ICT Hardware and Software to enable it run smoothly as a modern facility.

Construction of the Moyale OSBP was part of the US$ 329 million project that included construction to bitumen standard 438 Kilometres road from Merille River to Moyale in Kenya and 300 Kilometres roads’ sections in Ethiopia. This initial construction phase was funded by AfDB (loan), EU (grant), the GoK and GoE (counterpart funding). The next phase entailed implementation of Integrated Border Management (IBM) Procedures and Systems on both sides of the border at a cost of US$ 1.65M which was funded by Funded by the UK Government through regional trade agency TradeMark East Africa.  This included development and harmonisation of border procedures, harmonisation of legal instruments, capacity building programme for border agencies operating at the border point, awareness creation targeted at women traders as well as development and operationalisation of Cross Border Trade Charter.

Speaking during the launch President Kenyatta noted that the modern border post would accelerate trade between the two nations, which though moderate retains great potential for growth.

“My government has heavily invested in the recent past on modernizing infrastructure between our two countries, with the aim of realizing the huge trading potential between us. Construction of 438KM Road from Merille to Moyale as well as the Moyale One Stop Border Crossing which we are launching today will great bolster trade between our two nations as well as improve to security in the region” noted Kenyatta.

Kenya and Ethiopia are members of several trade blocks among them IGAD, COMESA and AfCFTA, making them ideal trade partners. Soda ash, agro-chemicals, medicaments, manufactured products, and aluminium utensils are among leading exports by Kenya to Ethiopia while glass bottles, processed leather products, cereals and cement are among products Ethiopia sells to her southern neighbour. In 2018, Kenya’s exports to Ethiopia were valued at Ksh. 6.3 billion. The OSBP and corridor are expected to enhance this trade.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister hailed deepening economic ties between the two nations, as one that will lead to mutual benefit to the people and economies of the neighbouring nations.

“We are fortunate that our nations have enjoyed cordial economic and diplomatic relations over the years. In 2018 Addis Ababa and Nairobi agreed to deepen relations in the areas of agriculture, co-operate more in the areas of agriculture, tourism, military, transport and infrastructure. I note with satisfaction that the Moyale OSBP is a big step in making goods and travel between our countries more efficient, faster and safer” observed Prime Minister Abiy.

UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott noted that the Moyale OSBP would boost regional trade, “This is the fourth UK supported one stop border post in Kenya, allowing the country to provide a gateway to East Africa. By investing in Moyale, Kenya’s economy will become more vibrant through trade with Ethiopia and the LAPSSET corridor, whilst creating jobs and opportunities.” Said the High Commissioner.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Director General Githii Mburu observed that the Moyale OSBP would improve customs administration between the countries, as well as minimize illegal trade and crossings between Kenya and Ethiopia.

“The Moyale OSBP will serve as a critical regional interconnectivity node and transit link from Ethiopia to the Ports of Mombasa and Lamu. The new modern crossing will also address smuggling of cargo and human traffic through illegal crossing points such as Lagga and Sessi thereby boosting formal trade and security between our two nations.” noted Githii.

Whereas Ethiopia and Kenya have been among the leading regional economies, trade between them has been modest largely due to lack of modern transport and communication. This is expected to change with the Moyale OSBP as well as better road connection between the countries.

TradeMark E.A which in 2019 has supported construction and initiation of One Stop Border Points across 7 border crossings, anticipates dramatic improvement in services offered at the new Moyale OSBP. A survey of time and traffic to cross these borders showed that they have contributed to reducing crossing times by an average of 70%.

“We are happy to see yet another OSBP in Kenya become operational as this will catalyse trade between two of the leading regional economies. We anticipate at least a 30%-time reduction in crossing the border and a 70% improvement of level of satisfaction with border services and infrastructure” explained TMEA CEO Frank Matsaert.

The One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) is a trade facilitation tool applied at land borders between two adjoining States. It refers to the simplified and harmonized legal and institutional framework, facilities, and associated coordinated procedures and processes that enable goods, people, and vehicles crossing a border, to stop only once in the country of entry, in which they undergo necessary regulatory controls following applicable regional and national laws to exit the adjoining state and enter the host state. It entails a “Whole Government” approach by creating an entire system, which enables business players to undergo border crossing formalities only once in the country of entry. As a result, the clearance time at border crossing points is shortened. OSBPs promote a coordinated and integrated approach to facilitating trade, the movement of people, and improving security.

Kenya currently has 7 OSBPs, four of which are fully operational (Busia, Namanga, Malaba, and Taveta); and three with complete infrastructure but undergoing completion in terms of fibre connectivity (Moyale, Isebania, and Lungalunga).  The Moyale OSBP will be the first in Ethiopia.

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