Kagitumba, Rwanda, February 13th 2017: H.E President Paul Kagame today visited the newly operational One Stop Border Post (OSBP) facilities at Kagitumba, Nyagatare district at the border between Rwanda and Uganda. The OSBP started operations in December 2015 and has already resulted in a 25% reduction in clearing time from 5 hours to 3.45 hours. TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) with Support from UKAID and The Canadian government funded the facility. The visit was part of President Kagame’s trip to Nyagatare district.
An OSBP is a “one stop” form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighbouring countries, with officials from host and neighbouring country sitting under one roof on either side of the border. This allows border users to stop only once at the country of destination, where their travel or other documents are stamped both exit (from country of origin official) and entry (by country of destination official) at the same time, thus the “One Stop”. This eliminates double clearing and enables cross border trade documentation to be done on the border side of destination thus reducing time it takes to cross border.
A survey commissioned by TMEA in March 2016, established that total clearing time at the border already reduced by 25% from 5 hours to 3:45 hours within 3 months of operation. Time reductions are estimated to hit 30% by June 2017. Further, various initiatives are being undertaken to popularize the border crossing to attract 60% of Northern Corridor.
To improve physical connectivity, two bridges were constructed with one serving cargo and passengers going to Uganda and the second serving those entering Rwanda. Accessibility from the border point into Uganda will become easier once a 37km Ntungamo-Mirama Hills bitumen road is completed in April 2017. The Ntungamo-Mirama Hills route is a natural preference as it offers a shorter and less difficult way from Rwanda to Kampala. It is also a principal route connecting Kigali to Burundi, and DRC along the Northern Corridor, offering a shorter distance to Rwanda in comparison to other road networks along the same corridor.
Construction and operationalisation of the OSBP complements several regional and national trade facilitation projects undertaken by the Government of Rwanda and its development partner TMEA. These initiatives including the Rwanda Electronic Single Window, modernization of Rwanda Standards Board laboratories and automation of key trade processes all aim to improve the ease of doing business in the country and trading across borders.
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark East Africa.