The implementation of a €6.8 million project is in progress to renovate the priority cross-border infrastructure and equipment at selected border points between Zambia on one hand and Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania on the other.
The borders are, Chirundu, Mwami and Nakonde respectively.
One of the first activities was the project implementation workshop conducted in Zambia mid-March 2021, organized by the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) in collaboration with the COMESA Secretariat and other line Ministries.
The other activities would be carried out under the Zambia Border Posts Upgrading Project for two years from the signing of the sub-delegation agreement which was done in November 2020.
Apart from upgrading infrastructure, the project will assist the country to effectively implement coordinated border management principles at the border posts, build capacity on modern border operations for stakeholders and implement a border information awareness campaign.
The project will support customs cooperation, implementation of the e-Certificate of Origin and Single Window System and reduce the asymmetry in knowledge on Rules of Origin.
According to Mr Mushuma Mulenga, Permanent Secretary in the MCTI, the European Union-funded project will also support capacity building for stakeholders on modern border operations and the implementation of an information awareness campaign on customs cooperation and trade facilitation instruments among other deliverables.
By the end of the implementation period, it is expected that clearance time and costs for passengers and goods processed through the border posts will be reduced. Likewise, the number of reported non-tariff barriers and cases of corruption and harassment if any, are expected to go down.
“All this effort is expected to contribute to increased collection of revenue through increased trade flows,” Mr. Mushuma Mulenga said in a statement presented by the Director of Foreign Trade Mrs Bessie Chelemu.
Among other issues discussed were the implementation structures and communication channels, review of the project plan and the operational implementation modalities including priorities for year 1 and year 2. A procurement plan for the project and a performance monitoring framework was agreed upon.
EDF Programme Coordinator at COMESA Secretariat Ms Mshuka Kamwela encouraged the Zambian team to focus on implementing the project within the agreed timeframe.
She reiterated COMESA’s resolve to provide the necessary support to ensure effective implementation of the EU sub-delegated activities.
The PS thanked COMESA Secretariat and the European Union for the technical and financial support the country continues to receive.
“All this effort is expected to contribute to increased collection of revenue through increased trade flows,” Mr. Mushuma Mulenga