Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | The East African Business Council (EABC), a private sector investment lobby on Wednesday called for prioritization of infrastructure development at border posts to facilitate seamless flow of goods and movement of persons as cross border business rebounds.
Peter Mathuki, CEO of EABC, particularly stressed the improvement of the infrastructure at Kenya’s Busia One-Stop Border Post via the construction of a four-lane road to ease cargo clearance.
“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,” Mathuki said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The EABC official said poor infrastructure continues to be a huge trade barrier in East Africa and a major constraint to regional integration and development.
Mathuki who had visited the Busia One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) urged revenue authorities to install cargo scanners at border points to facilitate trade.
He said the OSBP is efficiently operating with only a kilometer truck traffic holding an average of 55 trucks.
He said nearly 1,000 trucks were moving goods through the border on weekdays with the number increasing to 2,000 trucks on weekends and reiterated the need for parking spaces to be built for cargo trucks near the Busia OSBP.
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.
Mathuki said insufficient parking space for cargo trucks along the northern transport corridor trunk routes still poses a safety challenge for the traders and border communities.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the East Africa region’s growth 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.