The African Union development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have launched the 3rd edition of the One-Stop Border Post Sourcebook on the margins of the Pre-TICAD event hosted at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg, South Africa. The OSBP Sourcebook is a key resource that elaborates the One-Stop Border Post concept and provides guidelines on OSBP operations. The 3rd edition has been prepared in alignment with Agenda 2063 as Africa moves towards a single customs union through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Speaking at the launch, on behalf of the CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the Head of Economic Integration, Dr. Towela Nyirenda-Jere said that the 3rd edition comes at a significant time where the Continent is on the one hand dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 on cross-border movements and on the other, considering the role of border posts in the operationalization of the AfCFTA. “Another focus is the need to incorporate lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected trade and cross-border traffic, and it has required implementation of strict protocols and the setting up of social infrastructure to prevent the transmission of the virus.”, she said. The Sourcebook was launched on the margins of the pre-TICAD event themed “Towards TICAD8: Advancing Africa’s Economic Integration in the Post-Crisis era”.
The Ambassador of Japan to South Africa, H.E Norio Maruyama reminded guests that ownership and partnerships are fundamental pillars for the comprehensive development of Africa. In this regard, Japan clarified its policy on supporting NEPAD in 2003 and has continued to partner with AUDA-NEPAD through strengthened cooperation mainly in the fields of regional integration, industrial development, nutrition, private sector support and research. This cooperation is a contribution to the development of the continent through African ownership initiatives.
The Panel discussants moderated by Ms. Jennifer Susan Chiriga, AUDA-NEPAD Chief of Staff, highlighted the need to think about the future of the Continent and the need to strengthen African institutions, Infrastructure Development, and an overall focus on ‘smart partnerships’. When asked what their key takeaways would be from this session, the Resident Representative of UNDP South Africa, Mr. Ayodele Odusola said: “ We must ensure that whatever we do, we put the people at the center of the development process” . Mr George Kararach, Lead Economist at the African Development Bank highlighted in his ‘take-away’ that AfDB views AfCFTA as more than just infrastructure. ‘ We see AfCFTA as food security, as Capacity Building, health etc.”, said Kararach. “We want to see a stable and peaceful Africa”, said the Senior Vice President of JICA, Mr. Toshiyuki Nakamura.
The conversations on Africa’s response to crises, such as COVID-19 will surely continue at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in August 2022. The conference brings together African Nations, International organizations, the private sector, and civil society to deliberate on the common goal of the development of Africa.