Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan Counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are expected to officially launch the Busia One Stop Border Post (OSBP) today.
The OSBP investment includes office buildings for all border agencies, cargo verification bays, immigration halls, passenger sheds, roads and parking areas, scanner sheds, and warehouses.
The launch is expected to boost trade by cutting the time taken to clear goods between the two nations. This will reduce transport costs, whilst increasing volumes of transhipment cargo through the Northern Corridor. It is expected that time to cross the border will reduce by at least 30%. The construction of the physical infrastructures started in August 2013 and was completed in May 2016 on the Ugandan side; and started in April 2012 and was completed in July 2017 on the Kenyan side.
Busia OSBP is the third TMEA funded OSBP to be commissioned after Mutukula OSBP which was commissioned in 2017, while Holili/Taveta at the Tanzania/Kenya border was commissioned in 2016.
The OSBP brings together immigration, customs and other government officials from the two countries under one roof, doing away with need for trucks and persons to undergo clearance twice at both sides of the border. It ensures effective border control mechanisms and efficiency in border clearance processes.
Data from TradeMark East Africa shows that United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) funded the infrastructure component and Global Affairs Canada funded the operationalisation of the US$ 12 million facility through TMEA.
The OSBP will be jointly managed by neighboring countries and where activities are streamlined to maximise efficiency. An average of 5,108 vehicles pass through the Busia-Busia crossing weekly.
A time and traffic survey indicates that the time to cross from Uganda to Kenya has reduced by 70% from 1 hour 26 minutes in 2011 to 37 minutes in June 2017. Whereas, crossing from Kenya to Uganda has reduced by 76% from 14 hours and 20 minutes to 3 hours and 40 minutes in June 2017.
Through its donors TMEA has supported a total of 15 OSBPs in East Africa including South Sudan. TMEA has also invested about US$117 million in OSBPs and access roads. Estimates of benefits show a return of about $30 for every dollar invested.