Inside Kenya’s plan to boost trade with landlocked Ethiopia

Uhuru Kenyatta with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed  in Ethiopia
  • Kenya is planning to build one-stop border points (OSBPs) along its border with Ethiopia. 
  • The OSBPs are expected to enhance security, boost revenue collection and ease movement between the two countries.
  • Kenya and Ethiopia are among Africa’s leading Countries in terms of economic growth rates.

Kenya is planning to build one-stop border points (OSBPs) along its border with Ethiopia as it moves to boost trade with its landlocked neighbour.

The Border Management Secretariat, a bilateral agency, is of the opinion that the OSBPs will enhance security, boost revenue collection and ease movement between the two countries.

Putting two more OSBPs in Marsabit County will greatly boost trade facilitation and seal all the porous border points that encourage illicit trades,” said Mr Kennedy Nyaiyo, director of Border Management Secretariat.

Mr. Nyaiyo, spoke in Marsabit County on Wednesday when he led a multi-agency delegation to the office of Deputy Governor Solomon Gubo, for a courtesy call. The director said the team was currently assessing suitability of Forole and Illeret, the two sites proposed to host OSBPs in Marsabit County.

Marsabit currently has only one OSBP in Moyale Town despite the fact that the Ethiopia-Kenyan border straddles over 830km of its territory. Other areas marked for OSBPs include Siftu in Wajir, Markamari, Rhamu in Mandera, Todunyang in Turkana.

Kenya and Ethiopia are among Africa’s leading Countries in terms of economic growth rates. Both countries are endowed with vast natural resources, productive citizenry, huge industrial base and capability, growing agricultural sector and a large market potential of nearly 145 million people. In addition, we are both members of the Tripartite Free Trade area (TFTA), with a market potential of about 650 million people.

Kenya exports to Ethiopia, in part, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, made up textile materials, aluminum, medicaments, household equipment of base metals among other manufactured products. On the other hand, Ethiopia exports to Kenya, in part, vegetables, spices, oil seeds, lime, cement, and fabricated construction materials, cereals, and crude vegetable oils.

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