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‘One stop post for efficiency’

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Mayeso Msokera

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has said the rollout of one stop border posts (OSBP) will cut wastage for traders at the borders by 70 percent.

This comes as President Lazarus Chakwera and his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema are today expected to commission the Mchinji–Mwami One Stop Border Post.

A one-stop border post uses simplified and harmonised legal and institutional framework, facilities, and associated coordinated procedures and processes that enable goods, people, and vehicles crossing a border to stop only once in the country of entry.

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Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said traders and travellers used to spend a lot of time at the border, which was costly.

He said operationalising the border post means that traders and travellers will reduce the time spent at the border by 70 percent, which will improve business and revenue collection for Malawi.

“This is a facility that will significantly reduce time spent at the border, which will eventually reduce delays at the border and reduce costs, and that will improve competitiveness of our products on the international market,” he said.

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The Mchinji– Mwami One Stop Border Post is the first facility and arrangement for Malawi.

Msokera added that the country should expect more of such developments including in Dedza, where construction is done, then in Mwanza, where construction is about to be completed, and more projects at the country’s borders.

Speaking in an earlier interview, Malawi Revenue Authority Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma said the post will increase revenue for the government and consequently development in the border community and beyond.

“We are committed to working with individuals that use this OSBP to ensure their products are well classified so that they have a smooth transition as they use this border and transport their valued products across the Nacala corridor and beyond,” he said.

Cross Border Traders Association of Malawi President Steven Yohane applauded the move, saying it will have many benefits including developing the area where the facility has been constructed.

“There will be a lot of benefits because we will reduce the time spent at the border, reduce the costs that we incur and it will also reduce smuggling of goods on top of developing the area because we will need a market at the facility,” he said.

The construction component of the Mchinji–Mwami OSBP was funded by the African Development Bank while funding from the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, through TradeMark East Africa, supported the Integrated Border Management component.

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