The East African Business Council (EABC) has called on East Africa Partner States to construct a four-lane road at the Busia One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) to ease cargo clearance.
EABC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Peter Mathuki, said the improvement of infrastructure at border posts will lead to a seamless flow of goods and movement of persons as cross border business rebounds.
“The first lane should be to transport general cargo. The second lane to be used by passengers. The third can be for fresh produce and the fourth for hazardous products,” said Dr. Mathuki.
Following a recent visit to the Busia border, EABC noted that the OSBP is efficiently operating with only a 1km truck traffic holding an average of 55 trucks.
Nearly 1,000 trucks were moving goods through the border on weekdays with the number increasing to 2,000 trucks on weekends.
In October 2020, truck traffic snarl-up to the Busia border exceeded 15 kilometers, disrupting cross-border trade and escalating the cost of doing business.
This saw EABC call for mutual recognition of Covid-19 tests across the region.
Dr. Mathuki also reiterated the need for parking spaces to be built for cargo trucks near the Busia OSBP.
“Insufficient parking space for cargo trucks along the northern transport corridor trunk routes still pauses a safety challenge for the traders and border communities,” he said.
EABC also urged revenue authorities to install cargo scanners at border points to facilitate trade.
According to the African Development Bank, the East Africa region is projected to recover to 3.7 percent in the baseline scenario and 2.8 percent in the worst-case scenario this year, under the assumption that COVID-19 would be contained in the short-to-medium term.
Poor infrastructure continues to be a huge trade barrier in East Africa and a major constraint to regional integration and development.