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Efficient border crossing to boost trade between Tanzania and Zambia with launch of Tunduma OSBP

PRESS RELEASE

Tunduma, 5th October 2019: H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia officially launched the Tunduma One Stop Border Post (OSBP) located on the Tanzania/Zambia border, today.

The OSBP ensures effective border control mechanisms are in place. It will boost trade by cutting the time taken to clear goods between the two nations, thus contributing to a reduction in transport cost, whilst increasing volumes of transhipment cargo through the Dar es salaam Corridor. On average trucks leaving Tanzania take about 2.5 days to cross the Tunduma border into Zambia. It is expected that time to cross the border will reduce by at least a third.

Over the years, delays in cross border clearance were attributed to duplication of handling procedures on either side of the border, poor institutional arrangement and cargo management systems, inadequate physical infrastructures and services and immigration management. The new established OSBP is envisioned to address some of these challenges.

Construction of the Tunduma OSBP including systems and other related soft infrastructure was carried out with funding of US$7.8 million from the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development (DFID). The OSBP investment includes office buildings, roads and parking yards, cargo verification bays, scanner shed, passenger sheds, targeting booths, warehouse and canopies, ICT networks and hardware, furniture, and institutional support to the border agencies.

Tunduma is the busiest transit and entry point in Tanzania linking transit trade destined for Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. New investments in natural resources in Southern Tanzania are driving up traffic along the border point. This is likely to stretch border capacity and lead to further delays. Moreover, inadequate understanding of import and export procedures by border agency staff results in inaccurate entries and more delays. These factors impose serious costs on traders.

Several studies conducted in the region have established that the high cost of exporting and importing goods in the Southern Africa region discourages international and intraregional trade, makes commerce and industry less competitive, and contributes to food insecurity. The ports and border post delays have been identified to contribute significantly to the high cost of transportation in the region. According to the LPI Index Results (2010), it takes about 3-4 days to cross the land borders along the Dar es Salaam Corridor borders.

Making his remarks in Kiswahili during the launch, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Magufuli said, “Since time immemorial, Tunduma has been and remains an important node of Tanzania and Zambia. I want to thank our development partners and in particular TradeMark East Africa for supporting the construction and operationalisation of Tunduma OSBP which will enhance trade between Zambia and Tanzania. Bilateral trade between Tanzania and Zambia stood at TZS 265 Billion in the past year with Tanzania exporting goods worth TZS 149 Billion and importing goods worth TZS 116 Billion from Zambia. This facility will eradicate barriers to trade and will further promote not only trade between our two countries but also Intra-Africa trade”.

Speaking at the event, H.E Edgar Lungu said, “The border is expected to handle higher traffic levels which will in return improve competitiveness of the Dar es salaam trade corridor resulting in increased trade volumes between our two countries. Ultimately this infrastructure will promote border coordination making our shared border smart and efficient. This will also significantly reduce the time spent at the border from the current average of 4 days to 1 day hence helping our truck drivers and traders increase on their profit and save time”.

UKAID has provided over USD 52million to the East African Transit Improvement Programme (EATIP) through TMEA, as a contribution to the World Banks’ East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (EATTFP).
The head of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Tanzania, Beth Arthy said, “Initiatives such as this are crucial for making it quicker and cheaper for Tanzania to trade with its neighbours – boosting growth and jobs – and it will help the Governments of Tanzania and Zambia to achieve their visions of economic development and industrialisation.”

TMEA CEO Frank Matsaert said, “The completion and operationalisation of the Tunduma OSBP is a crucial milestone in increasing access to markets and the facilitation of the movement of cargo along the Southern Corridor. When initially investing $7.8 million with our donor, the United Kingdom, greater access to markets, increased efficiency that would reduce costs by reducing time and improved infrastructure, were just a few of our end goals. Ultimately, our projects in physical infrastructure and automation of key government trade processes like customs, have complemented each other to reduce the cost of doing business and boost trade volumes, increasing Tanzania’s overall trade competitiveness. Most importantly, this complements the Africa Continental Free Trade Area goal that visualises a continent that trades seamlessly with each other.”

TMEA through its donors and in partnership with the East Africa Community has since 2010 to date supported 15 OSBPs in East Africa including South Sudan and has invested about US$117 million in OSBPs and access roads. They are: Busia/Busia (Kenya/Uganda), Malaba/Malaba (Kenya/Uganda), Kagitumba/Mirama Hills (Rwanda/Uganda), Mutukula/Mutukula (Tanzania/Uganda) Holili/Taveta (Kenya/Tanzania), Elegu/Nimule (South Sudan/Uganda) and Kobero/Kabanga (Burundi/Tanzania).

TradeMark (Trade and Markets) East Africa is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established in 2010, with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America.

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Notes for Editors
For more information please contact
John Ulanga
Country Director, TradeMark East Africa, Tanzania
john.ulanga@trademarkea.com

Nelson Karanja
Communications Director, TradeMark East Africa
Nelson.karanja@trademarkea.com

About TradeMark East Africa
TradeMark (Trade and Markets) East Africa is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established in 2010, with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America. TMEA works closely with Regional Intergovernmental Organisations, like the East Africa Community, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

The first phase of TMEA (2010-2018) delivered exceptional results which contributed to substantial gains in East Africa’s trade and regional integration in terms of reduced cargo transit times, improved border efficiency, and reduced barriers to trade.
We are now in the second phase (2018 – 2023) where we will focus on:
1. Reducing barriers to trade; and
2. Improving business competitiveness.

We believe this will deliver large-scale impact in job creation, poverty reduction and enhanced economic welfare.
TMEA has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with successful operations and offices in EAC (Arusha), Burundi (Bujumbura), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), Democratic Republic of Congo (Bukavu), Ethiopia (Addis-Ababa), The Horn (Hargeisa) South Sudan (Juba), Uganda (Kampala) and Rwanda (Kigali).
To find out more, please visit our website www.trademarkea.com

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