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East Africa’s One Stop Border Post Project


Key facts

  • African Development Fund loans of US$107 million to Kenya and US$88 million to Tanzania.
  • Support to Kenya and Tanzania development priorities and regional integration within the East African Community.
  • Construction of 240-km road from Arusha through Namanga to Athi River, near Nairobi.
  • Boost to commercial and tourism activities in the region, improved traffic between Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.

The African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the African Development Bank, extended loans of US$107 million to the Republic of Kenya and US$88 million to the United Republic of Tanzania to build a modern and more efficient “One Stop Border Post”. The financing also covered the construction of a 240-km road from Arusha through Namanga to Athi River, near Nairobi.

The “One Stop Border Post” project has given a much-needed boost to commercial and tourism activities between Kenya and Tanzania. The entire development has helped increase trade, tourism and stimulated the regional economy. It supports the development priorities of both the Governments of Tanzania and Kenya.  It is also in compliance with the Bank Group’s strategy of promoting economic co-operation, regional integration and multinational infrastructure projects.

Co-financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the infrastructure project also facilitates traffic between Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.

The 240-km road particularly is of strategic importance to the East African region and forms part of the priority Corridor No.5 of the East African Community (EAC) Regional Roads Network, which spans from Tunduma in southern Tanzania to Moyale in northern Kenya, and onward to Addis Ababa. The designation of six priority corridors is a result of collaborative effort between the EAC, the Partner States of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya and donors active in the region’s transport sector.

The East African Community (EAC) aims to improve the regional transport infrastructure with a view to supporting economic and social development programmes in two member countries, namely Kenya and Tanzania and fostering regional integration within the East African Community. In this context, both countries’ Governments requested the Bank to finance the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River trunk road.

Principal beneficiaries of the new infrastructure include local businesses, especially tourism operators within the Arusha, Tsavo and Serengeti Parks; national and regional transport operators; national and regional traders, and residents of Arusha, Namanga, Athi River and Nairobi axis.

The Arusha region is the hub of tourism in Tanzania attracting more than 80 percent of all tourist visitors. About 41 percent and 20 percent of Kenya exports and imports to and from Tanzania respectively go through the project road.

Cross-Border Cooperation and Poverty Reduction

The project’s core objective is to improve road transport infrastructure between Kenya and Tanzania through the priority road corridors in the sub-region.

Within the context of cross-border cooperation and poverty reduction, the main goal of the Bank’s intervention in this sector is to support regional integration, cross border trade, tourism, socio-economic development of the zone and contribution to the reduction of poverty.

The “One Stop Border Post” project also continues to galvanize regional cooperation, facilitating cross-border dialogue and the signing of treaties amongst EAC member countries. It supports the ongoing work of Committee for Easing Cross-Border Movements established by the EAC Commission in 1998 to work on East Africa passport issues, temporary passes for business people, intermediate passes and other issues spelt out in the Tripartite Agreement on Road Transport (TAORT).

The ongoing impact of the project includes increased cross border traffic, increased cross border tourism, increased social-economic activities at the principal towns of Arusha, Namanga and Nairobi, and both Tanzania’s and Kenya’s coast line. The project fosters economic integration by helping to eliminate physical barriers to cross-border trade and improving the flow of production factors.

Arusha, which is the capital of East African Community, now has an excellent link with Nairobi, Kenya’s commercial, diplomatic and pollical capital. In addition, the road is also supporting agricultural production by large- and small-scale farmers along the road corridor area.

The project had limited net environmental impact as the road passes through an area of very low population density, supporting Maasai pastoralist groups, and helping to expand wildlife and natural area tourism.

Sarah KeiyaSarah Keiya

Many people are benefiting from Tanzania and Kenya's new “One Stop Border Post” project including Sarah Keiya, who sells curios to tourists traveling through the route. The new OSBP makes crossing the border faster and easier, improving trade, tourism and local businesses. The new border infrastructure was constructed with a loan from the African Development Bank.

I’m 45 years old. I live in Namanga, Tanzania. I’m also the leader of the curio women in Namanga. We saw this as an ideal location. Because it is where the tourists pass through. We mix with both the Tanzanians and Kenyans. We work together and selling the curios together. As a resident, I thank the Bank for doing something good, which has brought unity among the two countries.” - Sarah Keiya, Curio Seller in Tanzania

Naftali Elude MzotaNaftali Elude Mzota

Tour Operator, Naftali Mzota says the process that used to take an entire day to clear his bus and passengers, now only takes a matter of hours, thanks to Tanzania and Kenya's new One Stop Border Post.  Besides making crossing easier, a loan from the African Development Bank also improved roads and infrastructure.

My name is Naftali Elude Mzota and I have used this road for 23 years. I work with Impala Shuttle. At first, border clearing here was a challenge because there were two borders. You would clear at Immigration and Customs in Tanzania, then you would cross over to the Kenyan side and repeat the same process. It used to take 1.5 to 2 hours.  But now, when passengers come from Tanzania they process their travelling papers in Kenya and continue with their journey. So, it has been good. The African Development Bank has eased the clearing process and the people here enjoy the fact that the border post has become bigger” - Naftali Elude Mzota, Shuttle Bus Driver

Edward Wilson LimoEdward Wilson Limo

Edward Limo, the owner of Namanga Highway Hotel stands outside his property which he says he could only build following the establishment of the new One Stop Border Post between Keny and Tanzania. He says the OSBP has made the hotel prosperous and he will be able to open other hotels soon.  The new OSBP, financed with a loan from the African Development Bank, is making crossing the border faster and easier, improving trade, tourism and local businesses.

My name is Edward Wilson Limo, a resident of Namanga and I’m a hotel owner. I’ve had this business for more than 20 years. Before, we didn’t have much patronage but now the business makes profit. Because of this new border, there has been an increase in vehicles both in Kenya and Tanzania and we are benefitting a lot because of the border post.” - Edward Wilson Limo, Hotel Owner, Tanzania

Kenneth BagamuhundaKenneth Bagamuhunda

Kenneth Bagamuhunda, Director General, Customs and Trade at the East African Community in his office in Arusha, Tanzania. He says the new One Stop Border Project between Tanzania and Kenya has had an important influence on increasing trade and tourism between the two countries.  The new OSBP is making crossing the border faster and easier, improving trade, tourism and local businesses. The new border was constructed with  a loan from the African Development Bank.

The One Stop Border Project is an initiative that is meant to facilitate trade across borders. There was a gap because it took a lot of time to clear  goods at the border posts. It has changed, now and takes  about 20 to 30 minutes to cross the border. We've really had very good and close relations with the African Development Bank. They've supported us on infrastructure and also provided support on soft aspects like capacity building. I think currently we have over 10 functional OSBPs. We are going to replicate some of these initiatives even on our external borders with Ethiopia, DRC and Zambia. - Kenneth Bagamuhunda, Director General, Customs and Trade,  East African Community

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