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One Stop-Border Post to Boost Trade in East Africa

Ugandan President and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta during the commissioning of the one stop border post at Busia (Photo: Daily Monitor)

President Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday commissioned the one-stop border post at Busia.

According to Museveni, the border will boost trade between the two countries and speed up the integration process for East African states.

He reiterated that the people of East Africa should move freely and do business in any East Africa state without fear.

The border post worth $12 million (Shs44 billion) was constructed by Cross -border business advisory organization, Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) with funding from UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the Global Affairs, Canada.

It has combined the traditionally two-stop borders into one, as well as consolidated other border control functions into shared spaces between the two countries for exit and entry points.

"I repeat what I said while swearing in, that we want the people of East Africa to move across the borders put up by colonialists to do business freely and if anyone wants to buy a Shamba (land) in any country, should be free to do so without any problems," President Uhuru said.

President Uhuru said as heads of state, they want to see people in East Africa countries come together.

"The people of East Africa are one and it is wrong for a brother living in Uganda to get permission to visit the sister in Kenya and vice versa," he added.

He said that when united, the region can be able compete with economic giants like India, China among other countries.

"We want to put similar spots across all border points in the region and bring people together. By doing so, we will also be fighting insecurity," he said, adding that the East African Federation is a uniting factor for the people of East Africa.

The function was attended by among others; Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, IGP Kale Kayihura and ministers from Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Busia border is Uganda's second busiest point after Malaba. It handles human and cargo to and from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC.