KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
A new trade facilitation tool was launched
Tuesday in Kigali aimed at enhancing intra-Africa trade.
The One-Stop Border
Post (OSBP) Sourcebook is expected to help governments improve
cross-border and intra-regional trade across Africa.
The second edition
of the sourcebook was supported by the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA), NEPAD, the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), and
the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The tool was
launched at a regional workshop on the OSBP. The workshop runs
up to March 16.
exchanging views on further development of OSBPs in the
drawn from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda,
Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan.
Dr Ibrahim Assane
Mayaki, the NEPAD chief executive officer, said the trade
facilitation tool seeks to promote a coordinated and integrated
approach towards easing trade, movement of people, and
He pointed out
one-stop border posts are crucial in facilitating trade on the
continent because clearance time reduces for both travellers and
goods under one roof.
Mayaki said: “It is
envisaged that the OSBP project will help reduce the cost and
time transporters take to ferry goods across borders.”
NEPAD’s commitment to support initiatives that promote trade on
He also urged
governments and key stakeholders to fully utilize the sourcebook
to help them determine the best way to develop OSBPs in each
Snowden Mmadi, an
infrastructure expert at COMESA, said studies show that time
wasted clearing at ports, borders, and checkpoints is one of the
big obstacles to trade growth and competitiveness in Africa.
promotion of the one-stop border post system is vital in
enhancing the continent’s competitiveness.
Africa still lags
behind due to low levels of trade and industrialization,
according to experts.
Hiroyuki Takada, the
JICA chief representative in Rwanda, cited high transport cost
among challenges facing regional trade in Africa.
Traders say it is
about three times more expensive to transport a container from
Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Kigali compared to shipping costs
from Yokohama in Japan to Dar es Salaam.
charges increase the cost of doing business, especially for
landlocked countries like Rwanda, and discourage private
investments and are, therefore, an additional barrier to trade
on the continent,” Takada said.
He urged African
countries to strengthen intraregional trade and deepen regional
integration to spur growth on the continent.