UK’ s department for International Development (DFID) says it provided approximately one million pounds in support of One Stop Border Posts in the SADC region.
And DFID says once the single stop becomes operational, delays at Chirundu will fall by 30-50% and that a reduction in waiting times will reduce costs for businesses and increase their competitiveness by ensuring that products reach markets faster.
Helen Mealins, Head of DFID Southern Africa said today in Lusaka in a speech read for her by Liz Winton (Regional Growth and Trade Adviser at DFID Zambia.
She said that DFID’s 100 million pound TradeMark-Southern Africa programme was launched on the 1st of November 2009 and is scheduled to support work on reducing delays at five other border posts in the region.
“DFID believes that investing in physical infrastructure such as border posts as well as improving the regulatory environment for trade and transport along the North South Corridor, will transform trading and investment opportunities in the region and increase the region’s prospects for generating growth, creating jobs and reducing poverty,” she said.
The DFID head who is based in South Africa noted that delays at border posts along the North-South Corridor are one of the biggest constraints to trade in the region.
She said they increase costs for businesses, making exports uncompetitive and imports more expensive adding that for landlocked countries especially, transport costs are a serious constraint to economic growth.
“As Sub-Saharan Africa’s first one stop border, Chirundu is leading the way forward for creating single border stops, not only for this region, but for Africa as a whole. Indeed, the One Stop Border Post at Chirundu is making a positive and important contribution to the realisation of Africa’s integration ambition.
“This is a milestone of great significance. DFID celebrates the opening of the Chirundu One Stop Border Post and looks forward to seeing further One Stop Border Posts open across the region. The UK is strongly committed to supporting Africa’s drive for regional integration,” she said.
The one stop border post will be officially opened next Saturday