Tanzania’s President John Magufuli and Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu recently launched the Tunduma One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) located on the Tanzania-Zambia border.
Tunduma is the busiest transit and entry point in Tanzania linking transit trade destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
On average trucks leaving Tanzania take about 2.5 days to cross the Tunduma border into Zambia.
Delays in cross border clearance are due 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 OSBP will boost trade by cutting the time – by at least a third – taken to clear goods between the two nations, thus contributing to a reduction in transport cost, whilst increasing volumes of transshipment cargo through the Dar es salaam Corridor.
The OSBP 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.
The project was funded by the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development (DFID).
Making his remarks during the launch, Tanzanian President Magufuli said, “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.”
For his part, Zambian President Lungu said, “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.”
The head of DFID in Tanzania, Beth Arthy said, “Initiatives such as this are crucial for making it quicker and cheaper for Tanzania to trade with its neighbors – boosting growth and jobs – and it will help the Governments of Tanzania and Zambia to achieve their visions of economic development and industrialization.”