Mary Baine, the commissioner general of the Rwanda Revenue Authority has encouraged the creation of the proposed one-stop- border post, saying that it will boost trade.
Baine said the move would reduce transport costs, improve efficiency and time management, thereby fostering business growth in the region.
The East African Community (EAC) member states want all borders open to the proposed one-stop- border post, in order to ease the movement of goods and services in the region.
This will be partly achieved when customs and immigration officials from different member countries share one office.
“The one-stop border concept is an important milestone towards deepening the level of economic integration,” said Baine. “Harmonised trade networks are key to the region’s quest for economic growth and development.”
When the proposal becomes operational, Rwanda-Uganda borders (Gatuna and Katuna) will become a one-stop-border post for both countries, with the same offices offering all boarder-required services including customs offices, Immigration/emigration and security.
Other border posts that will be merged include Tanzania- Rwanda (Rusumo), Rwanda-Burundi (Akanyaru), Kenya-Uganda (Malaba & Busia), Uganda-Tanzania (Mutukura), and Tanzania-Kenya (Horohoro, Lungalunga/Holili, Taveta/Sirari, Isebania).
The Rwanda-DR. Congo (Gisenyi) boarder is to be considered at a later stage.
Each country would collaborate with the other in sharing all the necessary costs in setting up structures, bridges, linking roads and joint procurement for works and services.
The World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Union (EDF), were identified as potential donors to develop the Rusumo border project.
“In the mean time, countries have agreed to exchange their existing procurement laws and procedures in order to facilitate decisions on which law to adopt,” said Baine.
By October 15th, a lead country, whose laws apply best, will be selected.