Kenyan and Ugandan businessmen who use the shared border crossings at Malaba and Busia may have another option for transporting their goods starting next month, as the two nations plan to create another Customs post at Suam.
The two nations had been working together to transform the Suam one-stop border Customs and immigration post into a one-stop border post, making it the third such facility between them.
“The wider project includes the Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale trade route and cost Ksh5 billion ($35 million). It is meant to improve the transport and clearance of goods. The facility is due for opening by the end of September,” Kenya’s Interior and National Coordination Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said.
According to the Kenyan government, the border crossing point would cost Ksh100 million ($700,000) and will include immigration, Customs, security, and sanitary inspections all under one roof. The upgrading of the post and the Kitale-Suam road were done by independent companies but is scheduled to be completed next month.
The African Finance Development Bank-funded project is sponsored by the governments of Kenya and Uganda, with China State Engineering Construction Corporation serving as the principal contractor.
“It will facilitate trade between our two countries and open up the East African region, including South Sudan and Djibouti.” “We expect it to boost our cross-border business,” Omollo said following an inspection.
In order to reduce traffic at the primary international Busia and Malaba border facilities, Kenya and Uganda announced they would improve the Lwakhakha one-stop border station in Bungoma.
“The two new border posts will enhance interconnectivity and open markets for the region. We are boosting our personnel to enhance services at the Customs points,” Omollo said.
The Suam-Bukwo-Kapchorwa road has been upgraded as part of the Ugandan government’s efforts to modernize the Suam crossing, which is expected to boost the local economy.
The renovation of the road project, in accordance with Sudi Mwatela, chair of the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers’ Union, would aid in decongesting the border crossings at Busia and Malaba, which frequently have traffic jams.
“The road will be help decongest but we want to request the authorities to put safety measures on the Uganda side because the road is too steep and risky. If we are not careful, we will end up losing many lives,” Mr. Mwatela told the press.
Omollo claimed that in addition to boosting domestic security, the project would also draw in business.
“This is a critical project between our two countries that will improve faster business clearance and support our local investors. Our people should be ready to invest more in cross-border trade soon,” he stated.