Kenya Trade Network Agency with International Finance Corporation has rolled out internet connectivity at border towns to fasttrack clearance of goods.
Panel of officials from KenTrade, County Government of Kajiado, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives and World Bank Group in Namanga.
KenTrade in partnership with the IFC, a World Bank group, on Friday rolled out Internet and Wi-Fi connectivity to enable faster clearance of goods in Malaba, Busia, Taveta, Namanga and Isebania.
The service, which has also been extended to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (cargo section) and the port of Mombasa, is currently being utilized by government agencies at the border points.
Implementation of the service was done with the support from the World Bank Group’s Kenya Investment Climate Program 2.
Speaking when he officiated the official launch in Namanga, the Principal Secretary State Department of Trade, Dr. Chris Kiptoo, said the government is at the forefront of implementing initiatives that aim at reducing cost of doing business and enhance trade facilitation.
“Using ICT as an enabler, the business community and citizens have been accorded seamless services in addition to giving them the opportunity to access government services anytime at their convenience,” said Kiptoo.
Kiptoo added that the electronic single window system (Kenya TradeNet System), which allows traders to lodge trade documentation for approvals by regulatory government agencies through the single electronic platform, is one of the projects implemented by the government that has contributed to savings in time and cost for traders.
KenTrade CEO, Amos Wangora, noted that the agency has been working with stakeholders to develop trade facilitation projects aimed at improving service delivery to enhance the nation’s competitiveness, adding that successful implementation of all the 21 modules in the Kenya TradeNet System had enabled better coordination among government agencies involved in clearance of cargo along the Kenyan borders.
“Today, we have implemented all the 21 modules as envisaged, and we currently have over 10,500 users making various transactions through the system,” said Wangora.
We have 35 government agencies on board, and we are processing close to 600,000 transactions annually, he added.
He said the system has also been integrated with banking institutions and two mobile payment solutions through the Kenya Revenue iTax system, which has made it possible for the traders to submit documents and make payments to government electronically.
Wangora said through support from the World Bank Group’s Kenya Investment Climate Program 2, KenTrade has also facilitated some of the government agencies at the borders with 35 laptops to be used for trade facilitation.
Ms. Sarah Ochieng, Program Lead, Kenya Competitiveness Enhancement Program, World Bank Group, said the use of the internet can make the process of initiating and doing trade a lot easier, faster, and less expensive.
“As the government of continues with the effort to improve trade, the application of information, communication and technology will be paramount in streamlining trade-related procedures such as availability of Internet connections at border-crossings and customs automation to realize fully-fledged electronic single window facilities,” she said.