Ethiopia and the Government of Kenya through the Ethiopia Customs Commission and the Border Control and Operation Coordination Committee have signed the Moyale-Moyale One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) operational procedure manual.
The signing ceremony was held in Addis Ababa and attended by key private and public sector players from both countries. This follows the inauguration launch on 9th December 2020 by the Heads of both Governments and the subsequent commencement of OSBP Operations on 8th June 2021.
The deal seeks to encourage small-scale traders by developing a simplified framework to facilitate their business activities at the border and to help to harmonise Kenya and Ethiopia’s trade regimes, particularly on agricultural products, in order to allow citizens from both countries to conduct business beyond the borders.
Interior ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Wilson Njenga led the Kenyan delegation to Addis Ababa, said the new deal is a step forward in enhancing cross-border trade and movement of people.
“Today’s event marks an important milestone in managing our borders as it is a culmination of meetings and deliberations between our two governments in ensuring that the Moyale Ones Stop Border Post (OSBP) is operational,” Interior ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Mr Wilson Njenga.
This comes after Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahamed earlier commitment to increase cross border trade collaborations between the two countries during a visit to the Moyale One-Stop Border Post
Wilson Njenga, also stated that they will be relied on by the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor project as it will ensure growth from the accelerated services and improved infrastructure.
He said it will lead to better services through improved infrastructure such as transport and integrated ICT.
The One-Stop Border Post Procedure Manual is expected to provide a structured framework for both countries to make cooperation easier such as cooperation on health threats like implementing COVID-19 protocols.
Kenya and Ethiopia also agreed on the need to reopen the Moyale border post to encourage legitimate trade and movement of people, while also mitigating security issues like human and drug trafficking.
Currently, the governments are looking forward to the culmination of a series of negotiations for bilateral free trade between the two countries initiated by Trademark East Africa.