EAC Unveils An Online Tool To Measure Performance of One Stop Border Posts

Nairobi, 12 July 2023: The East African Community (EAC) has developed and unveiled an online tool to measure the performance of the twenty two (22) One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) across the region.  The EAC Secretary General, Hon. (Dr) Peter Mathuki unveiled the One Stop Border Post Performance Measurement Tool at the just ended 14th African Union High Level Private Sector Forum taking place in Nairobi this week. He announced the tool is now ready for use and that Partner States and stakeholders will embark on data collection, sensitisation on use and full roll out.

OSPBs are an important infrastructure at border crossing points and contribute to spur intra-regional trade by reducing the costs of doing business through reduction of time and costs taken to cross borders. Further, OSBPs eliminate multiplicity of documentation associated with two-stop border post bureaucracies.

Lack of data to inform decision making on major aspects such as OSBP performance, human resources and state of physical and digital infrastructure has often slowed down collective action for optimal performance of existing OSBPs.

The One Stop Border Post Performance Measurement Tool will involve a range of measurements including time spent on administrative procedures, reduction of transport cost, reduction of inventory cost and increase of revenue collection and trade.  Custom administrators in the EAC region will use the data in the measurement tool to assess OSBP performance and institute improvement strategies.  Specifically, the Tool has been developed to provide the necessary mechanism to measure the performance of OSBPs on six fronts: Time, Cost, Volume/ Throughput, Infrastructure, Inter-Agency Coordination and User Satisfaction.

Hon. (Dr) Mathuki said One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) are central to implementation of infrastructure projects  and enhanced interconnectivity of markets, as well as regional integration on the continent as a solution to delays and costs of transport of goods and passengers.

 “The OSBP Performance Measurement too will enable us to collect and analyse of data in real-time, giving us up-to-date performance rates, including wait times, clearance processes, and trade flows. This real-time reporting will enable us to  promptly identify bottlenecks and any other issues, therefore facilitating quicker decision-making and effective resource allocation”, said the Secretary General.

The OSBP performance measurement tool has been developed with support from USAID through TradeMark Africa – TMA (formerly TradeMark East Africa). This complements TMA partnership with EAC Partner States to build and operationalise Sixteen (16) of the EAC region’s twenty two (22) OSBPs, investing over US$117 million.

TradeMark Africa Director for Trade Policy and Customs Dr. Benedict Musengele said there was a need for the region to ensure a return on investment on the development of the OSBPs through enhanced trade in the region. “A lot of human, time and monetary capital has been invested in putting up the OSBPs, we must therefore ensure we derive the most value through regular monitoring and enhancements as this is important to keeping down the costs of doing business in EAC,” he noted.

The EAC continues to put concerted efforts to improve overall trade facilitation and business environment. Some of the measures that have been introduced include the implementation of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) which has reduced the time and cost of cargo transportation from the ports to the hinterland, the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Scheme which offers priority clearance of goods for trusted operators and the One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) which has shifted border operations to one side of the border in the country of entry and ensures that all transactions are conducted at once by all agencies involved.

The unveiling ceremony of the EAC OSBP Performance Measurement Tool was attended by Ministers responsible from EAC Affairs from the Partner States and other dignitaries from across the region.