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One-stop border posts on cards

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
ZAMBIA, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania plan to establish fully-fledged one-stop border posts with assistance from international co-operating partners to facilitate rapid clearance of goods.
Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda said this in Livingstone on Tuesday at the high-level ministerial meeting for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs).
Mr Chaponda said the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are assisting the four countries to establish the facilities.
“Trade facilitation is essential for LLDCs, in as far as addressing high transit costs and rigid clearance procedures to improve our trade competitiveness is concerned,” he said.
He said the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have put in place several initiatives to establish one-stop borders to facilitate rapid clearance of goods and services.
He also said SADC also adopted an industrialisation strategy and road map to trigger major economic and technological transformation to enhance competitive advantages of economies within the regional bloc.
“Ultimately, the strategy should assist SADC countries, including LLDCs and least developed countries to benefit fully from international trade, through value-addition and mineral beneficiation,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regional services centre for Africa director Lebogang Motlana said development challenges facing landlocked developing countries are unique and complex but surmountable.
Mr Motlana said many landlocked developing countries have small undiversified economies, mostly depending on export of primary commodities leaving them vulnerable to fluctuating global demands and price volatility.
He said a number of landlocked least developed countries have introduced reforms in the context of integration, which has led to the reduction of import and export costs and increased competitiveness.
Mr Motlana said UNDP is committed to supporting LLDCs in implementing the Vienna programme of action and achievement of sustainable human development.