The launch of Namanga One Stop Border Post on Saturday by two East African presidents makes Kenya’s exit town to Tanzania a vibrant 24 hour economy.
Namanga One Stop Border Post is officially opened by two East African Heads of State.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday, joined Tanzanian President John Magufuli to launch the post at Namanga and encouraged business people to engage in legal trade.
The two leaders were welcomed to Namanga by Governor Joseph Lenku and other senior officers from the national government for the launch of the OSBP.
It will be jointly manned by customs and immigration officials from both countries. This means officials from both sides will share space with their counterparts on the Kenyan and Tanzanian side to ease services.
The border post will facilitate ease of movement for goods and people between Kenya and Tanzania. OSBP is aimed at enhancing the economic, social and political integration of the East African community.
The project is also expected to enhance the economic, social and political integration of the East African Community (EAC). Cargo clearance will now take 15 minutes unlike the previous 1 grueling 1 hour.
Uhuru stated “I am pleased with the progress that the EAC partner States are making to fast-track the EAC Integration agenda. Indeed, the modernization of infrastructure & enhancement of intra-regional interactions will facilitate the prosperity for our people.”
He added “Our Nations have noted the vast untapped potential of the informal cross-border trade taking place in the EAC region. We have implemented measures to bring into the fold smaller traders; measures which the Namanga OSBP will pilot.”
Magufuli said since his country established a modern border post, Tanzania’s revenue collection at Namanga exit increased from TSh3 billion to TSh4.5 billion.
He said his country has good working relation with Kenya and accused a certain click of individuals, he did not name, for tarnishing the image of his country by implying it has no love for Kenyans
The two heads of state, made a pitch for small scale traders, as they officially launched the One Stop Border Post.
Both leaders said the idea behind it is to facilitate traders from both countries, to do business with ease. They said this marks a new dawn of cooperation where small scale traders would benefit and the free movement of people and goods would be made easier.
Customs and immigration officials from both countries at the border posts, have however been cautioned against engaging in corruption. The Namanga one-stop border post is one of 15 such facilities in the region.
The border post will go a long way in mending shaky diplomatic relations between the two neighbours.
Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prof Adolf Mkenda condemned Kenya for allegedly stopping the importation of rice from the country.
Mkenda also accused revenue officials of frustrating another Company, Bakhresa, by overvaluing its products, leading to unfair taxation by KRA.