EDITORIAL: One-border posts will make East Africa better for business

Rusumo border post on the Rwanda Tanzania border now operates a one-stop centre for clearing goods and people crossing the border; the first of its kind in the region.

Rusumo border post on the Rwanda Tanzania border now operates a one-stop centre for clearing goods and people crossing the border; the first of its kind in the region.

That means that a Rwanda businessman exporting goods overseas, through this border, can have all the paperwork sorted from one point on the Rwanda side of the One-Stop-Border post.

Similarly, goods entering the country can have all the customs paperwork sorted from the other side without going through another cumbersome process upon crossing the border.

This has been made possible by new facilities put in place under the One-Stop-Border project that bring all officials involved in the process of clearing people and goods under one roof.

This has indeed been long-overdue. Traders have for decades complained about the numerous and lengthy customs documentation while crossing borders with the region. This has not only cost them time, but also money as goods unnecessarily delay reaching the market. No doubt, therefore, that this project, if rolled out to all border posts, will eliminate the red tape and enable people and their goods to move faster for the good of all the economy of the whole region.

This project therefore comes in handy in accelerating economic integration in the East African Community, by eliminating some of the non-tariff barriers to free and faster movement of goods and services.

Beyond regional integration, faster movement within our borders will certainly make the region a better and cheaper place to do business and more attractive to foreign investors.

As we fast track regional infrastructure projects aimed at boosting production, there is need to inject some resources in replicating similar projects in all border posts in the region as quickly as possible. Only then shall we talk about a truly integrated region.

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