The one-stop border post on the Kenya-Ethiopia border has commenced operations. The move follows the official launch of Moyale OSBP in December 2020, by both President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The US $9m border post is part of the planned Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa corridor linked by the 502-kilometre Hawassa-Moyale road project in Ethiopia, and the Isiolo-Moyale road in Kenya. The Ethiopia-Kenyan border straddles over 830km of its territory, and has only one OSBP in Moyale, Marsabit.
The OSBP is expected to reduce the border crossing time by at least 30%, to enable faster movement of cargo and people. Other areas marked for OSBPs include Siftu in Wajir, Markamari, Rhamu in Mandera, Todunyang in Turkana. Kenya and Ethiopia signed an agreement for preferential access aimed at fostering economic co-operation in 2012, emphasizing on trade, investment, infrastructure, food security and sustainable livelihoods.
Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC)
The two countries also established the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) tasked with driving bilateral ties, in addition to more than 30 agreements and MoUs spanning nearly all economic, social and political spheres including security, defence and trade, movement of people, transport, and culture. Last year’s entry of Equity Bank into the Ethiopian market, four years after KCB became the first Kenyan bank to open a representative office in Addis Ababa, is also seen as a huge boost for Kenyans eyeing the huge market.
Speaking at the commencement meeting Kennedy Nyaiyo, Kenya’s head of delegation and the Secretary of Kenya’s Border Management Secretariat said “Today, with the collaboration of both governments, development partners; the legal frameworks, construction, supplying office infrastructure and ICT technology and solar power of Moyale are fulfilled and ready for operation.”
“The people of Ethiopia and Kenya deserve to tie their economic and social relations under the principle of mutual benefit. The establishment of the OSBP will have a significant role in improving cross border trade and free movement of people,” commented Mr Mengistu Tefera, Ethiopia’s head of delegation and Special Advisor to Commissioner-General Ethiopia Customs Commission.