KRA pushes for increased legal trade between Ethiopia, Somalia

Move expected to spur growth in import and export trade.

In Summary

•It will KRA an opportunity to facilitate legitimate trade and collect the correct revenue, it says.

•This comes with the construction of a major road (Isiolo-Mandera) connecting the horn of Africa countries of Kenya, Somalia and to Ethiopia.

A section of the Moyale One Stop Border Post along the Kenya-Ethiopia border/HANDOUT
A section of the Moyale One Stop Border Post along the Kenya-Ethiopia border/HANDOUT

Kenya Revenue Authority plans to establish posts at Rhamu and Mandera on the Ethiopia and Somali borders respectively.

It will also put up a trade facilitation centre at Suftu,(Kenya-Ethiopia) and  construct two bridges to facilitate movement of goods and persons across the borders.

The establishment of One Stop Border Posts is expected not only to spur growth in import and export trade but also provide an opportunity for legitimate trade and revenue collection.

Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Lilian Nyawanda said KRA seeks to facilitate faster movement of goods and persons at the Kenya-Ethiopia border, and facilitate cross-border trade between Kenya and Somalia (upon opening of the borders).

“Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have long and porous common borders, with many potential locations for developing border posts to facilitate cross-border trade,” Nyawanda said in a statement on Tuesday.

This comes with the construction of a major road connecting the Horn of Africa countries.

The Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP) road connects Kenya to Somalia and Ethiopia.

The Isiolo-Mandera regional road corridor – the primary project area - traverses the North Eastern counties of Isiolo, Meru, Wajir, Mandera and Garissa.

Last year, World Bank approved an Sh81 billion loan to upgrade half of the 750-kilometer Isiolo-Mandera road and laying of a fiber-optic cable for major towns.

Currently, there is an OSBP at the Kenyan-Ethiopia border which has eased movement.

To support the movement of cargo between the two countries, Kenya has constructed a 503km road from Isiolo to Moyale, linking it to the Isiolo-Meru and Nanyuki highways to other parts of the country.

The Ethiopian government has also put up a 500km road from Hawassa to Moyale, with the two highways being financed by the African Development Bank.

Nyawanda said upon completion of the road Isiolo Mandera road, , KRA through customs will bring to operation more OSBP and geo- fence the Isiolo-Mandera route to facilitate electronic monitoring of cargo along the route.

KRA will establish Rapid Response Unit (RRU) Offices along the route to complement the electronic cargo tracking system.

Other initiatives include installation of Cargo Surveillance Systems, Smart Gates at Rhamu and Mandera OSBP, deployment of enforcement equipment like surveillance drones and Motor Vehicles and Drug detection equipment.

The Horn of Africa (HoA), comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia is growing quickly, with the population expected to reach 250 million by 2030.

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