PUBLISHED ON November 19th, 2014

Tanzania, Burundi border post to cut goods’ shipping time

A Sh575 million ($6.4 million) Tanzania-Burundi one-stop border post currently under construction will cut the time for shipping Kenyan goods to Bujumbura through Namanga border by one third. The border point will be completed by mid next year, officials have said.

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunzinza last week launched construction of the border post that seeks to house immigration and customs officials from Tanzania and Burundi under one roof at Kobero-Kabanga crossing. Its completion by mid-July is expected to reduce the time it takes to clear goods from three days to one.

TradeMark Africa (TMA), the multi-donor agency financing the project, says the Nairobi-Namanga-Bujumbura route is about 400 kilometres shorter than hauling the goods to Burundi’s capital through the Malaba-Kampala-Kigali route.

“We are committed to supporting trade facilitation efforts in Burundi geared to realising regional integration through trade,” said TMA chief executive Frank Matsaert.

A pilot one-stop border post is currently in operation at the Kobero border on the Burundi side, and statistics show that about 60 trucks are cleared daily, mostly originating from Kenya and Tanzania.

Kenyan exports to Burundi comprise of goods such as cement, building materials like iron and steel, dairy products and processed foods such as canned food and sausages. The border project is a big win for traders who will stop only once for customs formalities instead of twice.

The move to ease trade flows to EAC member countries will be further boosted once another one-stop border project is completed at the Kenya-Tanzania border by March next year.

The post at Taveta-Holili has been completed and focus has now turned to construction of a parking bay and by-pass road which are waiting approval of additional funds due to cost overruns. But construction of the $8.9 million (Sh802.1 million) project has been beset by diplomatic differences between Kenya and Tanzania, as well as lack of cash.

“Bilateral agreements between Kenya and Tanzania are delaying operationalisation of the OSBPs,” TradeMark Africa said.

Source: Business Daily

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.