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Kenya and Uganda set to upgrade Suam border point

The governments of Kenya and Uganda are set to upgrade the Suam border point as they aim to ease pressure on Busia and Malaba borders. According to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) regional customs manager James Malinzi, the move is aimed at developing the capacity to control the borders.

The project which is done in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has already seen Kenya start construction of Kitale – Suam border while Uganda is in the completion stages of constructing a road towards the border point.

Expected benefits

The aim of the project is to enhance revenue collection in eastern Uganda according to Mr. Malinzi who noted that once complete it will curb smuggling, evasion of tax and reduce the time taken to clear goods between the two nations. URA has a target of over US $5bn this fiscal year.

Jica on the other side will provide equipment for the border point to boost patrols as well as training of staff from both countries to ease the clearing of goods. This comes after the two countries launched the Busia one-stop border post in 2018 having been funded by the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) at an estimated cost of US $12m with money coming from the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the Global Affairs Canada.

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Uganda and Kenya share a long border stretching from Lake Victoria to Karamoja and River Nile. However, the Malaba and Busia border controls over 80% of goods that enter Uganda, DR Congo, and Burundi. Suam border post is expected to ease pressure on the two border points once works are complete.

Jica’s chief representation of Uganda Mr. Yutaka Fukase on his side added that the Japanese government is committed to developmental assistance in area health, agriculture, education, and human development at the grass-root level to improve production and productivity.

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