Kenya’s Moyale town has begun operating as a One-Stop Border Post (OSBP), as Government border regulatory officials from Kenya and Ethiopia came together to commence procedures.
An OSBP is a trade facilitation tool applied at land borders between two adjoining States. The OSBP enables goods, people, and vehicles crossing a border, to stop only once in the country of entry, in which they undergo necessary regulatory controls following applicable regional and national laws to exit the adjoining state and enter the host state.
This means that the border regulatory officials clearing traffic, cargo, and persons from both Ethiopia and Kenya will now physically relocate and sit side by side on either side of the border, where they will undertake exit and entry formalities in a joint and/or sequenced manner.
The move follows the official launch of Moyale OSBP in December 2020, by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia bringing closer the two countries’ goal of exponentially boosting trade between each other, as well as promoting regional and economic integration between the East African and Horn of Africa regions. Moyale is the only gazetted border crossing point between Ethiopia and Kenya.
A fully functional OSBP is expected to reduce the border crossing time by at least 30 percent, to enable faster movement of cargo and people. A baseline survey by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in 2017 indicates that it takes on average, 21 hrs and 52 minutes (Kenya-Ethiopia) and 12.5 hrs (Ethiopia-Kenya) for a cargo truck to cross the border.
Speaking at the commencement meeting, Mr. Mengistu Tefera, Ethiopia’s head of delegation and Special Advisor to Commissioner-General Ethiopia Customs Commission said:
“The people of Ethiopia and Kenya deserve to tie their economic and social relations under the principle of mutual benefit. The establishment of the OSBP will have a significant role in improving cross-border trade and free movement of people. My heartfelt compliments to all actors who successfully established this OSBP. And the government of Ethiopia and Kenya for the political commitment to realize the project.”
On his part, Mr. Kennedy Nyaiyo, Kenya’s head of delegation and the Secretary of Kenya’s Border Management Secretariat said,
“Today, with the collaboration of both governments, development partners; the legal frameworks, construction, supplying office infrastructure and ICT technology and solar power of Moyale are fulfilled and ready for operation. Let us utilize the OSBP and explore its opportunities to facilitate trade between Ethiopia and Kenya.”
The OSBP combined with other initiatives is also expected to contribute to boosting trade volumes. Kenya’s exports to Ethiopia in 2019 were valued at USD 67 million, while Ethiopia’s exports to Kenya were valued at US$ 52.05 million and it is expected to increase significantly with the operationalisation.