EALA focused on enhancing Kenya, Uganda cross border trade
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has proposed the creation of market centres in Busia and Malaba border towns to enhance cross border trade between Kenya and Uganda.
The proposal followed a Saturday meeting between 18 EALA members and stakeholders from Malaba Kenya and Uganda at the Kenya-Malaba Customs offices.
According to EALA team leader for the Northern Corridor, Mathias Kasamba, cross border trade will be enhanced through creation of market centres whereby gazetted days in every week can be facilitated for free trade.
“Under the arrangement goods from Uganda will be brought to the border post and Kenyans will be free to come and buy the commodities. Equally, Ugandans can cross over to the Kenyan side, he explained.
Kisamba noted that commodities which are preferably cheap on the Kenyan side can be accessed by Ugandans and facilitated to cross the border.
“This will also serve as mitigation for job losses arising from the improvement of infrastructure and faster clearance of trucks at the border post,” he added.
Kasamba said EALA’s focus is to see a seamless movement of people and investment across the border where residents with National Identity or electronic cards can be scanned and also scanners can be used to inspect trucks instead of opening the seals.
He told the meeting that smuggling of goods is caused by an imbalance of pricing systems on either side of the border.
“This calls for harmonization of pricing systems. As long as Governments continue to create posts and revenue and immigration bodies continue controlling revenue, movement of people and commodities smuggling will continue unabated.
“We need to create markets to increase volumes of goods produced. Ugandans wishing to buy goods in Kenya or Kenyans wishing to buy the same in Uganda should be facilitated,” he stated.
On the recent increase of accidents between Malaba and Amagoro town along the Northern Corridor, which residents have blamed on truck pileups, Kasamba emphasized on the need for a trailer park and revenue
officers working over the weekends too to reduce the long truck queues and unnecessary congestions.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait