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Lobby roots for seamless trade across borders

By Benard Lusigi | Jan 25th 2022 | 1 min read
By Benard Lusigi | January 25th 2022
Aerial view of trucks at Malaba border on May 26, 2020. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The East African Business Council is pushing for the revival of business committees to facilitate the flow of goods and services at border points.

The council is seeking to revamp joint border committees in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Burundi under the East Africa trade protocol.

"We are focused on revamping the joint border committees in collaboration with Kenya and Uganda revenue authorities and other relevant agencies," said John Kalisa, the council CEO.

Kalisa, who spoke at a forum that brought together different actors from Kenya and Uganda at the Malaba border on Monday, said they are focused on formulating systems that will guarantee fast clearance of cargo trucks.

"We would like to create a strong team and functional systems which will make the perennial trucks snarl-up a thing of the past," said the official.

He said women traders from Uganda and Kenya were experiencing harassment at the border points "and we would like to address that challenge and ensure they have a friendly working environment."

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) regional director Pamela Ahango said they had deployed more staff in the customs department to expedite the clearance of trucks.

"The deployment has helped reduce the trucks jam stretching over 80 kilometres to 34 kilometres in less than a week," she said. She said bad road sections towards the border had contributed to the challenges.  

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