The One Stop Border Post concept that was rolled out by East African Community member states has resulted in a boost of the various regional economies as it helps facilitate trade and the movement of goods.
By easing the flow of trade between the neighbouring countries, the eradication of red tape that had hampered growth in the past has gone a long way in helping grow the respective economies in the region.
The One Stop Border Post plan has gone a long way in helping entrench the integration goals that were the key drivers of the quest for a common market protocol and removal of trade barriers in East Africa.
It was therefore quite refreshing to learn that Kenya is about to build more one-stop border points along its border with Ethiopia in its latest effort to boost trade with the large landlocked neighbour.
According to the Border Management Secretariat, a bilateral agency, the one stop border posts will enhance security and boost trade.
We aver that such initiatives will go a long way in boosting revenue collection and easing movement of goods and people among the regional neighbours.
For example, the new one stop border posts will complement those that have already been opened on the borders between Kenya and Uganda (Busia) and Kenya and Tanzania (Namanga and Holili/Taveta) to name a few.
According to the Border Management Secretariat, two more one stop border posts will be set up in Marsabit County to spur trade facilitation and seal porous border points that have been blamed for encouraging illicit trade.
The sole One Stop Border Post currently located in Moyale Town is not adequate as it serves the Ethiopia-Kenyan border, which is more than 830 kilometres long, hence the urgent need for additional posts.
Even as the government goes about setting up the new border posts, it must not lose sight of the fact that the country’s porous borders have contributed to tax evasions, insecurity cases, smuggling of contraband goods, drugs and human trafficking, and attacks by terrorists. The onus is therefore on the authorities to ensure that the border posts are adequately staffed and security measures beefed up.
That is the only way the neighbouring countries can help fulfil the larger goal of helping grow the regional economies for the betterment of citizens.