Arusha Regional Commissioner calls for more sensitization on OSBP to the Border Communities
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 19th March, 2018:
The Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr Mrisho Gambo, has called for more sensitization on One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) to border communities in the East African Community in order to educate them on cross-border procedures under the OSBPs.
Mr. Gambo commended the establishment of the OSBPs which he said had made a big difference for citizens crossing national borders within the EAC by simplifying customs and immigration processes.
The Regional Commissioner made remarks over the weekend when he addressed thousands of border residents during a sensitization meeting on the OSBPs at Namanga town along the joint border of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Kenya. The sensitization forum which was organised by the EAC Secretariat with the support of the African Development Bank drew participation from residents of Arusha Region in Tanzania and Kajiado County in Kenya.
"The establishment of OSBP has tremendously promoted the movement of goods and services across borders and spurred intra-EAC Trade," added Hon Gambo.
On his part, the Kajiado County Commissioner, Mr. David Kipkemei, said one of the major non-tariff barriers impeding trade across the region was the lack of information, adding that traders struggle to find information regarding the goods and services allowed for trade in other Partner States.
Kipkemei said lack of information had left big loopholes for corruption to the detriment of traders as they endeavour to move their goods from one Partner State to the other.
He also commended the EAC Secretariat for conducting sensitization at the borders and called on Wananchi to embrace the education presented to them on the operations of OSBP to spur intra-EAC Trade.
The two leaders also took advantage of the gathering to respond on the nagging border issues between Tanzania and Kenya. The decision to engaged wananchi at the Namanga border on the challenges facing the two countries came after the agreement between Kenyan President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart H.E. John Magufuli when they met in Kampala, Uganda in February 2018 and agreed that it was in the interest of both countries to solve the ongoing problems at the Namanga border.
The main objective of OSBPs is to facilitate trade and travel by reducing the number of stops made a border crossing thereby reducing the time required for clearance at the border.
To date, out of the 15 borders earmarked to operate as OSBPs, 12 have been completed and 10 are now operational. The completed OSBPs are: Gasenyi/Nemba, Ruhwa, Rusumo, Lunga Lunga/ Horohoro, Holili/Taveta, Kagitumba/Mirama Hills, Mutukula, Kabanga/Kobero, Malaba, Isebania/ Sirari, Busia and Namanga. Construction is on- going for the Katuna/Gatuna OSBP.
The 10 operational OSBPs are: Gasenyi/Nemba, Ruhwa, Rusumo, Holili/Taveta, Kagitumba/Mi- rama Hills, Mutukula, Kabanga/Kobero, Malaba, Busia and Namanga. However, OSBP operations at Ruhwa have been temporarily suspended.
Sensitization in Namanga and Kijiado County was attended by among others; Customs, Trade and Immigration border officials from both Tanzania and Kenya, District Commissioners from Longido, United Republic of Tanzania and Kajiado, Republic of Kenya, Members of Parliaments from Longido and Kajiado County and OSBP coordinators from Ministries of EAC, Tanzania and Kenya.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified