The much-awaited Moyale One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) on the Kenya-Ethiopia border has finally commenced operations.
This means that the border regulatory officials clearing traffic, cargo and persons from both Ethiopia and Kenya will now relocate to Moyale 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 both President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
It has raised hopes to bolster trade and cooperation between the two countries.
Moyale OSBP will be the first of its kind in Ethiopia and the fifth for Kenya with other operational OSBPs being Busia, Malaba, Namanga and Taveta.
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.”
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.
“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,” said Kennedy Nyaiyo, Kenya’s head of delegation and the Secretary of Kenya’s Border Management Secretariat.
“Let us utilise the OSBP and explore its opportunities to facilitate trade between Ethiopia and Kenya.”
Moyale OSBP is complemented by the development of other infrastructure projects such as a bitumen standard 438-kilometre road from Merille River to Moyale in Kenya and a 300-kilometre road in Ethiopia, with support from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), European Union, and the two governments in Nairobi And Addis.
“The OSBP will improve efficiency by reducing time and transport costs for businessmen, traders, tourists, transporters, and communities while crossing from one partner state to another,” said Mr Abenet Bekele, TMEA Ethiopia Deputy Country Director.
His counterpart, TMEA Kenya Programme Manager Mr Daniel Muturi, congratulated the two governments for the major achievement.
“We have already seen momentum created by the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopian (LAPSSET) corridor with the launch of the first berth at the Lamu Port,” said Mr Muturi.
“The Moyale OSBP will be a key catalyst to enhance trade on the trans-African Highway to accelerate socio-economic transformation for both countries.”