Uhuru, Magufuli to open Namanga border centre


President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli, are set to launch the Namanga border crossing tomorrow amid unresolved long-standing trade disputes between the two countries.

The Namanga One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) is one of a dozen others, which have either been launched or are being commissioned to ease trade flow within the six-nation East African Community (EAC) bloc.

The consolidation of border control functions in shared spaces between the two countries is meant to ease the turn-around time for clearance of goods by traders. The Namanga post, whose construction works started in 2014, has been open since October last year. Reports indicated earlier in the year official launch was put on hold due to the delayed installation of electronic equipment.

“The launch of Namanga OSBP paves the way for speedy clearance of goods moving in the main trade corridor between Kenya and Tanzania,” the Kenya Revenue Authority said in a note inviting guests.

“The Namanga OSBP is part of the EAC regional initiative, implemented jointly with Kenya and Tanzania, supported by development partners through the Japan International Cooperation Agency and AfDB (African Development Bank).”

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Magufuli are likely to revisit undying trade spats between the bureaucrats in both countries since they directed the differences to be ironed at a meeting in Uganda in February 2018.

Apart from Namanga, other border points between Kenya and Tanzania are Holili, Horohoro and Sirali.