Tanzania and Kenya opened one-stop border posts at Holili in northeastern Tanzania on the border with Kenya and at Taveta on the Kenyan side of the common border to facilitate bilateral trans-border trade, marking another key milestone in the integration process in the East African region.

Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Co-operation, Augustine Mahiga, and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Labour and East African Affairs, Phyllis J. Kandie, opened two state-of-the-art border posts set up by TradeMark East Africa to ease Customs procedures between Tanzania and Kenya and boost trade in the eastern African region.

East African Community (EAC) Secretary-General Dr Richard Sezibera, and top government officers from Tanzania and Kenya, including the Kilimanjaro Region Commissioner, Amos Makala, and Taveta County Commissioner, Oningoi Ole Sosio, also attended the opening of the border posts Sunday.

Mahiga said the opening of the Holili and Taveta border posts reflected the determination of Tanzania and Kenya to boost regional integration through trade facilitation. “It’s a demonstration of trust between the two countries and that the One People, One Destiny dream is slowly being realized through various East Africa Community initiatives,” he said.

Dr Mahiga said the OSBP were set to increase efficiency by reducing time and transport costs incurred by businesses, farmers and transporters in crossing the border. The Minister further said that the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi road which was currently under construction would boost cross border trade and foster good neighbourliness between Kenya and Tanzania.

He added that the two countries had demonstrated the political goodwill to implement EAC initiatives. Dr Mahiga said the next step was capacity building in the management of OSBPs to ensure smooth operation and better service delivery.

He called on the Tanzania and Kenya business community to make good use of the posts and take advantage of the new facilities to spur cross border trade which plays an important role in poverty reduction as it provides trading opportunities for a good number of people. –