The East African Business Council (EABC) has called for equal treatment of all citizens including truck driver entering Kenya from Tanzania.
Currently, ordinary citizens entering into Kenya from Tanzania are allowed to proceed once they produce a COVID-19 certificate while the truck drivers are subjected to production of the certificate from Tanzania, additional testing at the border point and allowed in only after the results are out.
This, a process which border officials from the Tanzanian side and truck drivers claim is taking more than a week, hence subjecting goods to further delays.
EABC CEO Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki said, “strengthening of Public Private partnerships between the Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania will boost bilateral trade.”
Dr Mathuki was speaking while on a mission led by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of EAC, Kenya, Dr. Kevit Desai, to the Namanga border to establish the capacity of aflatoxin surveillance while witnessing
the testing and issuance of COVID-19 certificates.
“We urge governments to fast track the economic stimulus packages to support businesses,” said Dr. Mathuki.
Covid-19 is estimated to cost East Africa partner states between $37 billion to $79 billion in output losses.
In March-July 2019, the value of Kenya’s exports to Tanzania stood at approximately USD. 336 million while imports stood at USD.275. million, (Central Bank of Kenya).
In the same period in 2020, analysis indicates that Kenya exports stood at USD.169. million and imports stood at USD. 135.million, a decrease by -9.8% on exports and 29.4% on imports.
The team also visited the proposed site for construction of an integrated Cross-border Market at Namanga. The market that will sit on 200 acres of land will be built by the Ministry of East Africa Community and Regional Development, Kenya in collaboration with Kajiado County government.
Dr Mathuki, proposed for this to be emulated in other EAC border points and called this to be a trio partnership among the government, Private sector and the county governments.
“The market is set to enhance trade between Kenya and Tanzania, promote value addition, spur economic growth and ensure standards and quality assurance or goods traded between the two countries,” he said.