By Henry Lyimo
Simplified border clearance procedures at the newly opened one stop border posts at Holili and Taveta between Tanzania and Kenya will help boost regional tourism.
Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ramo Makani told reporters that tourism in the region stood to gain from the one stop border posts at Holili and Taveta and the highway between the border town of Taveta and Voi in Kenya whose construction was nearing completion.
“The one stop border posts will simplify border crossing procedures which will add value to tourism, he told reporters after the official opening of the Holili and Taveta one stop border posts last Saturday.
Simplification of border-crossing procedures will have a direct impact on tourism in terms of improved efficiency in cross-border movement, he said. The East Africa Community is a leading tourist destination in Sub Sahara Africa.
In 2012, tourism in East Africa is reported to have contributed 12.8bn US dollars with the industry’s total contribution to the GDP ranging between 4.8 per cent on the lower level as is the case with Burundi and 13.2 per cent on the higher level for Tanzania.
The Deputy Minister said the border posts at Holili and Taveta and the Voi-Taveta Highway would help to unlock vast tourism potential of the region.
“The one stop border posts and the road project when completed will provide an alternative route and a shortcut to Mombasa for tourists,” he said Once complete, the new highway link will permit the opening of a new safari circuit which includes Tsavo East, Tsavo West, the Taita Hills game sanctuary, and the Wundanyi Hills, Lakes Jipe, and Chala, and on the other side of the border Mt Kilimanjaro National Park and the little explored hills and mountains of Pare, Usambara, and the Mkomazi National Park.
Tanzania and Kenya officially opened the Holili and Taveta one stop border posts set up by TradeMark East Africa at a cost of approximately 12m US dollars to ease customs procedures between Tanzania and Kenya and boost trade in the Eastern African region.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African Regional and International Cooperation, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga and Kenya’s, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour and East African Affairs, Phyllis J. Kandie officiated at the opening ceremony that was also attended by East African Community Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera.
TMEA has funded a $5.7 million state-of-the-art post on the Tanzania’s side of the border with Kenya at Holili in Rombo District in Kilimanjaro Region and another US$ 6.7 million infrastructure at the Taveta border post on the Kenyan side.
The ultra-modern buildings are furnished with modern furniture and equipment, internet facilities, as well as inspection sheds, warehouses, animal holding facilities, incinerators for burning biological waste and laboratory for testing goods at the border.
Source: All Africa