The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) has welcomed the proposed One-Stop Border Posts Control Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament, saying if passed, it will reduce border clearance time between Namibia and its neighbours.
Johny Smith, CEO of Walvis Bay Corridor Group, which promotes Namibia as a gateway to the sea for land-locked neighbouring countries, said in an interview that the bill will open the door for Namibia and its neighbouring countries to share border infrastructure and services.
“Sometimes border delays and double handling of goods passing through the borders take up too much time,” he said.
Smith said the initial plan was to first implement the project on the Botswana/Namibia border at Buitepos and then consider other borders.
National Assembly (NA) announced this week that the One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) Control Bill is one of the bills that will be debated during its current sitting, which started on Tuesday.
The one-stop border concept is expected to be implemented with Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.
Government approved a plan to implement the one-stop border post concept at all designated Namibia border posts with neighbouring states, seven years ago.
It believes that the concept is critical for increasing trade, economic development and regional integration. The concept allows people and goods to exit one country and enter another through a single facility staffed and operated jointly by the neighbouring countries.
The main advantage is the quicker border clearance and limited duplication of border agency interventions, which in turn improve trade competitiveness. The concept was introduced more than 60 years ago in Western Europe and is also found between the USA and Canada, in Asia and South America.
In Africa, the OSBP concept has received wide endorsement from regional bodies such as SACU, SADC, COMESA, the East African Community, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union).
Within SADC, a one-stop border post has been established between South Africa and Mozambique at Lebombo/Resano Garcia while Zambia and Zimbabwe established a one-stop border post at Chirundu.