The governments of Tanzania and Kenya have recently launched the first One Stop Border Post (OSBP) in the East Africa Community (EAC) between the cities of Holili in Tanzania’s north eastern region and Taveta in Kenya’s south western region, which seeks to improve the border infrastructure between both countries and offer and alternative trade route to and from Mombasa port.
The Holili-Taveta is the first out of eight planned OSBPs to be developed in the EAC and is part of a fifty OSBPs project in southern Africa that are being implemented with the support of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), a non-profit organization promoting trade in the region, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA).
The OSBP between Tanzania and Kenya represented a total investment of USD 12 million donated by several international development partners – United Kingdom’s DFID, Canada and USAID – through TMEA and its construction took approximately three years under the management of Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
The Holili-Taveta OSBP is the demonstration of trust between Tanzania and its neighboring country Kenya, which not only expect to see a major flow of people and cargo between both countries boosting trade but also show their commitment to the integration process of the EAC, explained Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African, Regional and International Cooperation Ambassador, Dr. Augustine Mahinga at the launching ceremony.
The OSBP will also increase trade efficiency between booth countries by reducing time and transport costs incurred by farmers, businesses and custom agencies that are currently using the Namanga border, Minister Mahinga.
On the other hand, the Kenyan Minister of Labour and East African Affairs Phyllis Kandie explained that the OSBP complements the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi Road project, which also aims at reducing transport costs, time and expects to raise trade by 50% between Kenya and Tanzania by 2018.
According to the Afrian Development Bank (AfDB), the expected growth in trade will be supported by a reduction in transport costs between Mombasa Port in Kenya and Arusha in Tanzania from the current USD 0.52 per vehicle kilometre (veh-km) to USD 0.34 per veh-km.
An expected rise on frequency of trips to transport cargo and passengers will also support the growth since the travel time between both road’s points will be reduced from the current 30 hours to merely 6 hours.
The current volume of cargo transported and passengers traffic through the Holili/Taveta border of 0.4 million tonnes and 40,000 people per annum is expected to rise to 3 million tonnes and 100,000 people per annum by 2020 according to the AfDB.