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Knowledge Sharing Workshop on how to make OSBPs Operational as an instrument of trade facilitation in the West and Central Africa regions
December 5 - December 6
In 2012, the African Union (AU) adopted an action plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade and the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area, to deepen regional integration. In 2012, the AU also adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and its Priority Action Plan (PAP) for 2020, which was formulated by the African Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and regional economic communities (RECs), which have prioritized continental programs/projects to help address the infrastructure deficit that severely hampers Africa’s competitiveness in the global market. PIDA-PAP includes 21 priority transport programs/projects, which were broken down into 273 subprojects in an AfDB study in 2014. A total of 73 of the 273 subprojects involve OSBPs. Assessments by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA, hosted by AfDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2014 and 2015 have identified about 80 OSBPs/Joint Border Posts (JBPs) at various stages of implementation in Africa.
AfDB approved a new Regional Integration Policy and Strategy for 2014-2023, which focuses on creating larger, more attractive markets, linking landlocked countries to international markets, and supporting intra-African trade to foster the continent’s development. In its Strategic Business Plan 2014-2016, ICA placed an emphasis on supporting the development of regional infrastructure with a particular focus on implementation of PIDA. The ICA transport sector platform, championed by JICA and the European Investment Bank (EIB), prepared the 1st edition of the OSBP Sourcebook in 2011 with the EAC and JICA, and has strengthened its support for OSBPs since then. While a number of OSBPs/JBPs have been implemented in recent years in addition to Chirundu, including several in West and East Africa, operationalization has lagged as implementers face a variety of challenges.
Thus, considering that OSBPs are now one of the continent’s highest priorities, NEPAD, ICA and AfDB, along with JICA, recognized the need to update and revise the 1st edition of the OSBP Sourcebook (2011) on the basis of recent good practices and lessons learned, so that implementers facing challenges can readily locate useful information and lessons learned to apply in their decision-making processes, with the aim of operationalizing more OSBPs to achieve the expected benefits. To this end, a series of workshops were held with active participation of specialists across the continent: (i) a preparatory workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, on 24 February 2015; (ii) a 1st technical workshop for this project in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 31 August to 2 September 2015; and (iii) a 2nd technical workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 to 28 October 2015; (iv) a Learning and Validation Workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 7 to 8 March 2016. Then, the Sourcebook was officially launched at the continental level at the occasion of TICADVI side event: “Boosting Intra-African Trade: A Key for Regional Economic Integration and African Competitiveness” held in Nairobi, Kenya on 26 August 2016.
As agreed in the Learning and Validation Workshop, the NEPAD agency is now taking the lead in promoting this Sourcebook and support RECs, member states and other key stakeholders for OSBP development on the continent. The Agency is taking custody of the OSBP Sourcebook and establishing an OSBP network to learn from each other as well as to regularly update the Sourcebook In this regard, it is important to hold regional launches of the Sourcebook to promote the Sourcebook and discuss key issues and the way forward for OSBP development in the context of each region. The RECs under the leadership of NEPAD will hold regional launches of the 2nd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook in each region: East, South and West/Central.
Main Objectives of the Workshop
- Improve knowledge on the 2nd edition of the Sourcebook
- Update and share experiences of OSBP development in the two regions and enhancement of South-South Cooperation through learning lessons from other regions.
- Identify challenges of nonoperational OSBPs in the two regions and necessary action to take for each stakeholder.