KIGALI - Rwanda and Tanzania will today sign a bilateral agreement that will see the establishment and implementation of a joint one-stop border point and simplified trade regime at Rusumo border, Eastern Province.
The agreement will be signed on the sidelines of the 20th Meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers taking place in Arusha, Tanzania.
When contacted, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Eugene Munyakayanza expressed optimism that the project would enhance trade, through efficient movement of goods, persons and services between the two countries.
“It is a result of technical studies conducted by both countries in promoting inter-regional trade. This will definitely go a long way in cutting short the long hours of waiting for clearance at the Rusumo border,” Munyakazi said.
He added that the infrastructural development project also includes the re-construction of the Rusumo Bridge to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JICA also supported the Rusumo one-stop border post concept and financed the consultancy to prepare the bilateral agreement and the law.
The agreement is expected to enable expeditious and more effective border controls; reduce the number of stops in cross-border trade and other transactions by combining border control activities of the two partner states at a single location in each direction.
Eugene Torero, the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Deputy Commissioner General in charge of customs, said that once implemented, the border point will lead to reduction on costs of doing business at Rwanda’s second busiest border crossing.
“When both countries share infrastructure, this means reduced costs and more competitive business which is good for both countries,” he said.
The treaty will also extend the application of national laws relating to border controls of each party in the other state, thereby enabling border control Officers of each partner state to legally perform statutory functions outside their national territory and within the territory of the other state.