Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has accepted to extend a grant of $44 million for the establishment of a One-Stop Border Post at the Rusumo border, Eastern Province.
Rwanda and Tanzania last week signed a bilateral agreement that will see the establishment and implementation of the joint border point and a simplified trade regime at the border.
The Minister for East African Community (EAC) Monique Mukaruliza yesterday said that the funds will largely cater for reconstruction of the Rusumo Bridge and the acquisition of high tech equipment to be shared by customs officials from both countries.
“The funds involve re-constructing the bridge and purchasing equipment needed to run the one border post,” Mukaruliza said in an interview.
She explained that in the agreement, both countries agreed to have goods checked once at every entry point.
“The One-Stop border post scheduled to open within a period of one year, will facilitate trade because checking will be done once,” she said.
“Goods coming from Tanzania will go straight to the Rwandan side for clearance and vice versa”.
The Minister emphasized the importance of the border crossing, adding that a huge number of trucks use the road from the Dar es Salaam port.
Meanwhile, Mukaruliza said that the just concluded 20th Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers agreed to set up two new sectoral councils, one on environment and natural resources and the other on finance and planning.
She said that the Council passed the decisions in recognition of the crucial efforts needed to combat negative effects of climate change in the region and charting the way forward on the establishment of a Monetary Union.
An EAC Heads of State Summit on Climate Change and Food Security is scheduled to take place in May this year in Arusha, Tanzania.