KIGALI, Rwanda - The refurbished Kagitumba border facilities are 95% complete and soon will become a modern One Stop Border Post.
The project is funded by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) which has channeled $10.5million on the Rwandan side.
The Rwanda Minister of East African Community Affairs Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza last week was given a guided tour of the complex to access the progress and mobilize all the stakeholders especially other EAC members to find out how ready they are for the border post.
”The EAC, which Rwanda is a member is really at the corner of Rwanda’s economic strategy and the economic development since it represents more than 20% of Rwanda’s global trade. This is why we are focusing mainly on border posts which make it much easier to trade with our neighbors than it is to trade with far away countries, “Minister Rugwabiza said soon after the tour at the border post.
The Kagitumba border post is shared between Rwanda and her neighbor in Uganda.
The construction of the One Stop Border Post at Kagitumba and Mirama border follows the Summit Directives regarding the implementation of One Stop Border Post in EAC which is one of the trade facilitation projects provided for in the Customs Union Protocol.
The objective of this infrastructure project is to reduce border-crossing bureaucracy through eliminating double clearing on both sides of the border and reducing time it takes to cross the border hence easing doing business, transport and moving of people between two countries.
“We are focusing on making sure that we have the right infrastructure and that we will milk from it once it is ready and the only way to make sure that we milk it is to see that we are producing the goods and providing services that are going to be needed by the people crossing the border each and every day,” Rugwabiza said.
The reason for this project is to improve customs clearance and other services at the border, boost intra-regional trade as well as improve the revenue collection of governments.
Once complete, it will reduce the time to clear transporters from more than two hours to less than 40 minutes, increase the utilization of risk assessment to reduce invasive inspection of transit goods each border crossing among others.
Over 160 Rwandan both skilled and unskilled are employed under the construction of the border post plus many local businesses and lodges have benefited.
Once complete it will promote both formal and informal trade raising the incomes of the people that use it.
“From July, 2013, to June, 2014, over 233,492 people coming in Rwanda both from the region and the rest of the world,” Godfrey Akayezu, Border Manager Kagitumba border post said.
Akayezu said, “For the EAC people using Identity cards, over 98,908 Rwandans entered Rwanda whereas over 108,138 Rwandans used IDs to exit the country. Over 51.491 Ugandans entered Rwanda using Voters’ cards, Students’ cards whereas 43,290 Ugandans exited Rwanda using IDs”.
“The number of Kenyans using IDs is still very low standing at 372 arrivals to Rwanda, and 98 Kenyans leaving the country,” he said.
East African Business week