THE private sector should be involved to remove border management challenges and facilitate legitimate movement of people and goods, a director at the African Union Commission has said.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Treasure Maphanga, director for the department of trade and industry at the continental body, told the 2nd African Union Customs Experts meeting on Wednesday in Harare that the challenge was to balance between facilitating the movement of people and goods and to prevent the unlawful and/or unauthorised movement of both people and goods.
“But for all this to make an impact on our economies, we need to strongly harness and involve the private sector which happens to conduct business and trade across our borders.”
Maphanga said co-ordinated border management was not achieved through forced organisational change but by creating overarching governance body.
He said the cost of doing business “is characterised by lengthy port handling and poor inland transport, cumbersome border procedures, numerous roadblocks and so many non-tariff barriers as compared to other regions of the world”.
Despite Africa’s poor and dilapidated physical infrastructure, Maphanga said the continent should take advantage of the short travel distance and utilise a huge market of over one billion people.
“There is ample empirical evidence that trade facilitation reduces customs delays and other costs considerably, while also raising revenue,” said Maphanga.
Co-ordinated border management is based on the need for agencies and the international community to work together to achieve common goals.
The meeting ends today.