Akanyaru gets one-stop customs border post

Local and regional traders using the Akanyaru customs post on the Rwanda/Burundi border will no longer spend a lot of time once the construction of a one-stop customs centre is completed.“A survey we carried out recently discovered that most of the delays transporters face are due to the bureaucratic procedures at the Akanyaru and Kanyaru Haut border posts.
Donat Mugangu speaks at the conference. The New Times / Ivan Ngoboka
Donat Mugangu speaks at the conference. The New Times / Ivan Ngoboka

Local and regional traders using the Akanyaru customs post on the Rwanda/Burundi border will no longer spend a lot of time once the construction of a one-stop customs centre is completed.

“A survey we carried out recently discovered that most of the delays transporters face are due to the bureaucratic procedures at the Akanyaru and Kanyaru Haut border posts. The implementation of this project will reduce the cost of doing business in the region and  also save time,” said Donat Bagula Mugangu from the Transit Transport Co-ordination Authority of the Northern Corridor.

He was speaking during the review of the feasibility plan of the project at Gorillas Hotel in Nyarutarama in Kigali recently.

He added that the delays on the corridor cause $800 (about Rwf537,600) loss per day per truck, which increases the cost of doing business in the region.

Over 37 per cent of the total logistics cost in landlocked countries are attributed to high road transport expenses, two per cent of which is caused by delays with hidden costs constituting about 40 per cent, Mugangu noted.

“The objective of this meeting is to bring together the two countries, Rwanda and Burundi, to find means of establishing a one-stop centre at the customs post to ensure efficient movement of goods and people across borders,” said Peterson Mutabazi, the in charge of transport at the Ministry of Infrastructure. 

The Akanyaru/Kanyaru Haut border post project is part of the Northern Transport Corridor programme funded by a $3m grant from the African Development Bank. It is expected to start in May 2015 and be completed in November 2016.

The Northern Transport Corridor links landlocked Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, northern Tanzania and the eastern DR Congo to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

The project aims at providing functional working and welfare spaces for border post staff, stakeholders and visitors. ICT infrastructure that enables stakeholders at the border post to share information and a system that is responsive to social and environmental impacts will also be developed. Already, works on the Mpondwe/Kasindi and Rubavu/Goma border posts on the Uganda/Congo and Rwanda/DR Congo borders have been completed under the same initiative. 

However, Venant Ntahonsigaye, an infrastructure consultant with the Northern Transport Corridor, noted that bureaucratic processes that delay the procurement of equipment and other facilities were holding back the projects across the region.

This, he added, had led to postponding of work schedules. The high inflation rate in the region has also affected the value of donor funds, he added.

Mugangu said the Northern corridor is the busiest in East and Central Africa, handling over 21 million tonnes of goods from across the region, out of which about six million is transit traffic.

The corridor also handles a substantial volume of intra-regional trade, estimated at five million tonnes per annum.

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