MOYALE, Kenya, Jun 8 – Moyale Border has begun operating as a One Stop Border Post (OSBP), close to six months after its official launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ethiopian counterpart Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The commencement of operations at the OSBP has been kickstarted by border regulatory officials from Kenya and Ethiopia.
Operationization of the post is expected to boost trade between the two neighbouring nations, as well as promoting regional and economic integration between the East African and Horn of Africa regions.
It is also expected to reduce the border crossing time by at least 30 percent, to enable faster movement of cargo and people.
Moyale is the only gazetted border crossing point between Ethiopia and Kenya.
Ethiopia’s head of delegation and Special Advisor to Commissioner General Ethiopia Customs Mengistu Tefera said the establishment of the OSBP will have a significant role in improving cross border trade and free movement of people.
“The people of Ethiopia and Kenya deserve to tie their economic and social relations under the principle of mutual benefit,” he said in part.
Meanwhile, Kennedy Nyaiyo, Kenya’s head of delegation and the Secretary of Kenya’s Border Management Secretariat urged stakeholders to utilize the OSBP and explore its opportunities to facilitate trade between Ethiopia and Kenya.
A baseline survey by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in 2017 indicates that it takes on average, 21 hrs and 52 minutes from Kenya to Ethiopia and 12.5 hrs from Ethiopia to Kenya for a cargo truck to cross the border.
Commenting on the development, TMEA Kenya Programme Manager Daniel Muturi said; “we have already seen momentum created by the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopian (LAPSSET) corridor with the launch of the first berth at the Lamu Port. The Moyale OSBP will be a key catalyst to enhance trade on the trans-African Highway to accelerate socio-economic transformation for both countries”
The project has been implemented by partners under the integrated border management component.
This includes the Ethiopia Customs Commission, Border Management Secretariat, and Kenya Revenue Authority, jointly with the other Government of Kenya and Government of Ethiopia border regulatory agencies, and TradeMark East Africa.
Moyale OSBP development is complimented by the development of other infrastructure projects such as a bitumen standard 438 Kilometres road from Merille River to Moyale in Kenya and 300 Kilometres roads’ sections in Ethiopia, with support from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), European Union, Government of Kenya and the Government of Ethiopia.