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Govt to upgrade Msa-Malaba highway

02 July 2013, 13:21 Samuel Kisika

The government is set to upgrade the Mombasa - Malaba Highway by eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) including weighbridges and graft-riddled roadblocks that have hindered free-flow of goods across East Africa.

Speaking during the marking of the 3rd Anniversary of East African Community Common Market Protocol (CMP), Phyllis Kandie, the Cabinet Secretary of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, said that the removal of such transport barriers would promote regional trade.

"The government has already reduced major roadblocks between Mombasa and Malaba along the Northern Corridor from 36 to five, while weighbridges are privatized and reduced to only two to improve efficiency and reduce time wastage across the region," said Kandie.

Kandie said that the government is constructing One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) at major border points to speed up cross border trade and get rid of cumbersome double-checks on either side of the border.

She said the OSBPs are being constructed in Taveta, Lunga Lunga, Isebania, Namanga and Busia as far as the road network upgrade is concerned to quicken transport.

"The African Development Bank (AfDB) has donated KES 19.5 billion for construction of Wundanyi - Taveta - Arusha road to boost trade between Kenya and Tanzania," said Kandie.

Kandie added that the AfDB is also set to donate KES 9.5 billion to Kenyan and KES 10.5 billion to Tanzanian governments for road construction works to foster regional trade.

Kandie also said the EA countries are in the process of harmonizing regional regional laws in trade laws to accommodate provisions of the CMP that would not conflict with regional trade agreements.

The CMP was formed on 1st July, 2010 by EA countries to accelerate regional economic growth and development by allowing citizens to move freely, secure employment and establish businesses without any restrictions.

Since its inception, the intra-EAC trade has realized an upward trend with the region's exports registering KES 134 billion in 2012 up from KES 101 billion in 2010 and KES 64 billion in 2004.

Kenyan imports from the EAC have also increased to KES 30 billion in 2012 from KES 20 billion in 2010 and KES 3 billion in 2004.

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