While the African continent has experienced rapid growth in trade over recent decades, intra-African trade has lagged due to low levels of trade facilitation and industrialization. Many studies have identified impediments to trade growth and competiveness in Africa and found that while movement along major highways is relatively fast, time is lost at the ports, at borders, and at checkpoints established along corridors.
Infrastructure development is central to facilitating intra-regional trade and the movement of people, goods and services and hence to promoting regional integration as articulated in the AU Agenda 2063. In 2012, the AU adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and its associated Priority Action Plan (PAP) prioritizing continental programs to address the infrastructure deficit that severely hampers Africa’s competitiveness in the global market.
One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) are central to implementation of transport projects in PIDA-PAP and enhanced interconnectivity of markets as well as regional integration on the continent.
The OSBP concept refers to the legal and institutional framework, facilities, and associated procedures that enable goods, people, and vehicles to stop in a single facility in which they undergo necessary controls following applicable regional and national laws to exit one state and enter the adjoining state.
One- Stop Border Posts Progress in Africa
- Before 2009, there was no OSBP in the African Continent
- In 2009, Chirundu Border Post, between Zambia and Zimbabwe opened as a pilot OSBP within the COMESA region
- It has brought the impact on the ground, reducing travel time across the border from 4-5 days to a few hours-3 days. Thereafter, a number of OSBPs have been built including Namanga between Kenya and Tanzania, Rusumo between Rwanda and Tanzania in East and Sinkanse in West Africa. However, there remain a various kinds of challenges faced in their operationalization phase after the facilities are built, and as a matter of fact, there are many more OSBPs on the waiting list to be implemented on the continent.
- In 2001, the first OSBP source book was published ad disseminated to EAC, SADC and UEMOA
- The OSBP book has been developed so that implementers facing challenges can readily locate useful information and lessons learnt to apply to their decision making process.
- In May 2010 the EAC adopted the OSBPs Bill, which sets the legal framework and shows political commitment to establish up to 15 one stop border crossings in the five partner states. SADC, which comprises 14 member states, has included the creation and implementation of Joint Customs Controls in its core mandate. In the Western sub region, the West African Economic and Monetary Union and ECOWAS, with the assistance of the European Union’s 9th European Development Fund, have taken the lead to develop joint border posts at several sites. While the Malanville (Benin-Niger) and the Cinkansé (Togo-Burkina Faso) OSBPs are already functional, other OSBPs are still under design or construction, including the Sémé Kraké (Nigeria-Benin) and the Akuna-Noepe (Togo-Ghana) OSBPs.
- 2014-2015, more than 27 OSBP’s are at the stage of construction or have been completed
- So far, 76 OSBP sites have been identified by country’s REC’s and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa
- 10 OSBP’s have been completed in East, South and West Africa
- 12 OSBP’s are still under construction
- 5 are under planning
- 49 are pending design and construction
- Following the success of the first OSBP Sourcebook launched in 2011, the NEPAD Agency, ICA and AfDB, along with JICA, recognized the need to update and revise the Sourcebook with emerging good practices and lessons learned. The revised Sourcebook will enable implementers and stakeholders to 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.
The draft of the 2nd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook was finalized and validated to share knowledge and experiences and to discuss the way forward for future OSBP development on the continent. A series of workshops were therefore held with active participation of specialists throughout the continent in 2016. The updated and edited sourcebook was officially launched at the TICAD VI side event with its theme, Boosting Intra-African Trade: A Key for Regional Economic Integration and African Competitiveness, and held in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016.
Co-operating with the JICA, the NEPAD Agency has taken the lead in promoting the sourcebook, while supporting RECs, member states and other key stakeholders for OSBP development on the continent. As such, an OSBP network has been established to facilitate cross-learning and regularly update the sourcebook. The agency plans to host regional launches of the sourcebook to discuss key issues and the way forward for OSBP development in each region. In addition to the planned training-of-trainers programme for OSBP practitioners, the agency will also introduce a monitoring system for OSBP projects on the continent.