Several studies have shown that the border environment in the COMESA region is characterised by lack of coordination between and among the national government agencies and their sister organizations from across the border. There is a lot of duplication of functions at each side as well as across the border which results in inefficient cargo processing systems. Furthermore, at most of the borders, lead agencies have not been assigned or designated which at times results in disagreements as to whose functional authority should prevail in deciding on the fate of conveyances and or goods. It has been noted that each agency has its own system of dealing with clearance of goods under its mandate that does not link or co-relate to the systems of the other agencies and all the national systems do not speak to each other. It has further been found that it is not only the national procedures that are not harmonized but so too are the procedures of adjoining countries which share borders.
The current incidence of Covid-19 which requires urgency in the movement of essential goods and services across the borders to provide timely interventions has further exposed the problems associated with the absence of Coordinated Border Management (CBM) at the crossing points. Most of the borders that are open during the period of the lockdowns are dealing with commercial traffic only, which in the main, would be transporting goods that are urgently required to provide relief in the fight against Covid-19 Despite this, delays spanning into days have been experienced where trucks and cargo are kept at the borders for long periods leading to overcrowding which further exposes the truck crews and the border community to a potential spread or transmission of the virus.
COMESA and the European Union signed a 48.3 Million Euros COMESA Trade Facilitation Programme (CTFP) on 21 November 2018. The Trade facilitation programme aims at, among other things, implementation of Coordinated Border Management (CBM), creation and or enhancement/operationalization of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), Single Window (SW), Joint Border Committees (JBCs) modernization of border posts and simplification/harmonization of procedures.
Five border posts were targeted for piloting of the initiatives. These are Chirundu between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Nakonde/Tunduma linking, Zambia and Tanzania, Mwami/Mchinji linking Zambia and Malawi, Moyale linking Ethiopia and Kenya and Galafi linking Djibouti and Ethiopia.
In order to operationalize CBM, there is need to develop regional CBM Guidelines and Implementation strategy which will be piloted at the selected border posts and deployed at the regional level. COMESA is therefore seeking to engage an Individual Consultant for the development of the regional CBM Guidelines and Implementation Strategy.
The Guidelines will elaborate on the three levels of Coordinated Border Management being:
- Intra-agency coordination addressing interactions within the boundaries of one Border Agency;
- Inter-agency cooperation between separate Border Control Agencies or between the Agencies and relevant Ministries or Government bodies; and
- International Cooperation among Border Control Agencies at both sides of a border/frontier or among Government agencies on cross-border issues.
The Guidelines should cover the six key management areas of Coordinated Border Management being:
- Legal and regulatory framework that defines the necessary legal basis for inter-agency and international cooperation and exchange of information;
- Institutional framework which provides the organizational setting for CBM;
- Procedures for cooperation;
- Human resources and training, dealing with recruitment and education/training issues in the framework of coordination and cooperation;
- Communication and information exchanges providing guidance on how best to create standardized and efficient flows and exchanges of information; and Infrastructure and equipment explaining how equipment and facilities support cooperation and coordination at all levels.
- with the use of event filters.
Click on the link below for more details.
- RFP: Individual Consultancy to the COMESA Coordinated Border Guidelines & Implementation Strategy (109 downloads)
Post expires at 4:00pm on Wednesday September 9th, 2020