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Tailbacks at the Kenyan-Ugandan Border

Recently the East African Community (EAC) and Trademark East Africa (a business initiative) have worked to reduce customs clearance between the 7 EAC member states. It is claimed that customs clearance now takes only 15 minutes at the Kenya/Rwanda border for example, but the Coronavirus lockdown has reminded logistics operators of the bad old days, with the queue on the Kenyan side of the frontier with Uganda stretching up to 30km, according to local station Citizen TV. The East African neighbours are each other’s biggest trading partners. The border towns of Malaba and Busia, where the congestion has been centred, are crucial routes for the transport of goods. Kenya’s government announced that all long-distance lorry drivers will be tested for CORVID-19 before crossing the border after Uganda confirmed that 8 Kenyan drivers had tested positive for the virus. As well as mandatory testing, they also proposed relay driving, where drivers hand over vehicles to their Ugandan counterparts at the border. Last week, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said the authorities in both countries were discussing ways to reduce cross-border Coronavirus cases.

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Alastair Tempest

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