The Government of Zambia and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have announced their partnership to upgrade the Nakonde One Stop Border Post, a vital trade route between Zambia and Tanzania. The project will be funded by the UK government to the tune of Ksh 1.1 Billion (£7.1 million).

The project will improve the flow of goods and people in Dar es Salaam, promising to streamline operations and reduce cargo clearance times by more than 100% on both sides of the border. Currently, it takes more than two days to clear cargo trucks crossing the border, leading to significant delays and losses for businesses.

With over 15 OSBPs established in East Africa the Nakonde project is set to deepen trade ties between Zambia and its neighbours. This, in turn, will leverage its strategic position as a land-linked country reliant on regional ports for its international trade.

Additionally, the Nakonde Border Post will see improvements, including the upgrade of road infrastructure within the border post and truck parking yard, construction of additional office buildings and warehouse, and the installation of a modern, cargo scanner. The initiative also includes the digitisation of clearance processes, and installation of smart gates aimed at cutting dwelling times for cargo trucks from the current average of 55 hours.

The design reviews for Nakonde OSBP were finalised over the last one year, with support from Trade Catalyst Africa and the Tony Blair Institute.

Speaking at the partnership announcement event, TMA CEO David Beer noted, “There is no denying the effect that integrated, fully operational and efficient OSBPs can have in reducing the time and cost of trade, thereby stimulating cross-border prosperity. Our experience in establishing similar border facilities across East Africa has shown us that such efforts can reduce clearance time by an average of 70%.”

With quality management, monitoring, and evaluation practices in place, the partnership has committed to transparency, inclusivity, and sustainability throughout the implementation period.