One-stop border post progressing

23 November 2021 | Infrastructure

The one-stop border post (OSBP) technical negotiation meeting between Namibia and Botswana was recently completed.

The online meeting convened by the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat (TKCS), discussed the technical framework of the implementation of an OSBP initiative at the Mamuno and Trans Kalahari border gates.

“These negotiations are critical because they pave the way for the conclusion of an agreement and the implementation of an OSBP at Mamuno and the Trans Kalahari borders, making it the first OSBP in SACU and the third in the SADC region,” said the executive director of the TKCS, Leslie Mpofu.

“This will have great benefits to the economies of the TKC Member States and the region, and I believe such endeavours are a step towards achieving the sentiments espoused in the Tripartite Free Trade agreement, the continental Africa free trade agreement and the AU’s Agenda 2063,” Mpofu said.

He added the benefits of having an OSBP include better resource utilisation through improved cross-border cooperation, as well as the sharing of intelligence and operational data and resources using Coordinated Border Management (CBM) and Integrated Border Management (IBM) concepts.

According to Mpofu, improved employee motivation is another benefit, which translates to increased productivity through the use of simplified and harmonized procedures as well as from working with better facilities. This includes faster processing of documents due to simplified and harmonized procedures, improved traffic flow, and improved border infrastructure.

“The OSBP will also ensure increased transparency, which enhances security and helps reduce corruption,” he said.

The head of delegation for Botswana, Boikanyo Mathipa, said she was pleased that the two countries will soon enjoy the benefits of having an OSBP.

However, she was disappointed that the two countries made no progress with negotiations since their last meeting in August 2013.

She said she hoped the agreement would be concluded soon, paving the way for the development of an OSBP at the Mamuno and Trans Kalahari borders, adding that her government had enacted the OSBP legislation in 2013 already.

The head of delegation for Namibia, Benedict Likando from the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA), agreed a significant length of time had passed since the last meeting. However, some progress has been made, with Namibia enacting the OSBP Act in 2017.

Subsequent to the completion of the OSBP technical negotiations, the next stage is for the document to be reviewed by legal experts from both countries, where after it will be submitted to the respective country’s attorney generals for scrubbing. Implementation will follow after the line ministers from the Botswana and Namibia sign the document.

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