he construction of the Mahagi One Stop Border (OSBP) is 85 percent complete. The OSBP will cut the export time from Mombasa to the Democratic Republic of Congo by 30 percent, Trademark Africa (TMA) announced in a tweet.
The Government of the DRC and TMA signed a contract to begin construction of the OSBP with Uganda on April 16, 2020. The project is co-financed by the Netherlands, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the British Department for International Development (DFID).
Mahagi (DRC)/Goli (Uganda) is one of DR Congo’s busiest border crossings, located at the axis linking the popular centers of Arua (Uganda), Bunia (DRC), Kisangani (DRC), and the port of Mombasa (Kenya) along the Northern Corridor.
OSBPs reduce transit time and costs for cross-border movements by integrating the Customs processes of border agencies of two neighboring countries in one place without increasing risks to public security or revenue collection. Transiting users stop once in the destination country for customs clearance, entry, and exit processes.
In 2019, TMA supported the construction and initiation of One-Stop Border Posts across 7 border crossing points in the East African Community (EAC) Partner States and the Tunduma border post between Tanzania and Zambia. A survey of time and traffic to cross these borders showed that they have contributed to reducing crossing times by an average of 70%, in addition to facilitating the movement of people and goods. The results exceeded projected targets.
“This is an initial project to modernize border posts that will allow more formalized systems for imports and exports and will reduce constraints and harassment, with the presence of only the four authorized border services mandated to operate at the border. Following these administrative infrastructures, other infrastructure will be developed in the logistics sector, with financial support from the Government or donors, vehicle parking lots, fuel depots, and facilities such as petrol stations, hotels, etc.” the Governor of Ituri, H.E. Jean BAMANISA SAIDI hailed the project during the launch.
The Director General of Migration (DGM), Roland Kashwantale Chihoza stated that “The construction of Mahagi’s one-stop border post is an important step towards modernizing border infrastructure and integrating management by services authorized to work at border posts. This step simplifies the control of documents and procedures to enable speedier border formalities. It facilitates quicker migration formalities, and trade by improving the efficiency of controls and improving the fight against fraud, smuggling, terrorism, and other crimes. With standardized border infrastructure, the authorized services will have the capacity to deploy more effective controls and ensure smooth movements through the borders”.
The expansion of the TMA programme to DRC, particularly the east, was at the invitation of the Government. Priority projects include the construction of OSPBs, of Mahagi and Ruzizi II; the latter is in Bukavu, DRC, and is adjacent to Rusizi II on the Rwanda side.
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