Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Tools to enhance operations at One Stop Border Posts being developed


Tools to enhance operations at One Stop Border Posts being developed

Tools to enhance operations at One Stop Border Posts being developed
Photo credit: EAC

The East African Community is developing a Regional Training Curriculum to support the operationalization of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) within the bloc. The training curriculum is a major capacity building tool for OSBPs in the region.

In a 20th-24th March meeting, with the support of GIZ-African Union Border Program (AUBP), currently underway in Kigali, Rwanda, Partner States’ experts from the Revenue and Immigration Authorities are developing the tool, which aims at training the OSBP officers on the rules and ways to operate in their different positions at their different posts in cooperation and coordination with their different counterparts.

The Regional Training Curriculum looks at how best to allow the different agencies to play their role and work together so as to enhance and accelerate the smooth operationalization of the OSBPs. The curriculum will be based on the existing instruments adopted by the EAC including the OSBP Act, Sourcebook and Manual. It will also take into account the already existing instruments of sensitization and capacity building availed by the other Development Partners of the EAC such as the IOM, JICA and TMEA.

According to the Ag. Director General of the EAC Directorate of Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the development of the curriculum commenced in December 2016 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the Kigali meeting is a continuation of the process, which comes at a time when the Community had successfully developed the OSBP Regulations and OSBP Manual.

“In order to have hands on experience on what happens in an OSBP, prior to the meeting, the delegates’ visited two functioning OSBPs, at Cyanika and Kagitumba/Mirama Hills. The output of the visits to the border posts greatly enhanced the curriculum development process,” noted the Ag. Director General, adding that the Partner States Experts who played a central role in the development of the OSBP Manual were also assisting in the development of the Training Curriculum.


The operationalisation of OSBPs in the region is not without challenges. Some of the challenges relate to inadequate infrastructure at many of these border posts including housing for staff, amenities such as schools and hospitals, holding grounds for quarantined animals, insufficient water resources and in some cases unreliable power supply and not the least human capacity and skills shortfalls in a number of critical areas.

In order to realize the goal of African integration, there is need to ensure smooth management of borders allowing swift and hustle-free movement of goods, persons, workers and services. This initiative will need to be bolstered by strengthening security measures that halt cross border criminal activities. Moving towards these goals the African Union, through its Border Program (African Union Border Program (AUBP) has encouraged/urged its member states to embrace a smoother management of border crossing points through installation and implementation of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs). 

There are 77 borders in Africa that have been earmarked for OSBP construction with 15 of them being in East Africa Community (EAC). The OSBPs are therefore becoming more popular at the regional level. They are seen as a modern approach towards facilitating movement of goods, persons and services across national borders. The OSBP concept promotes simplification of controls at borders through a one-time check at the border between two countries. In practice, OSBP is achieved by placing the border officials of two adjoining countries at each other’s adjoining border post so that border control checks will be jointly conducted by relevant officers from the two neighbouring countries at once on the side of the entry country. Once such a check has taken place on one side of the border, no other check will follow. Operating OSBPs requires a tight coordinated cooperation between the agencies present at borders including immigration, police, customs, health etc.


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