The East African Business Council (EABC) is calling upon the East African Community Member States to put an end to testing of COVID-19 at border points.
This, it says, will help decongest the points and increase intra-EAC trade.
The call comes after EABC’s a thorough 3-day visits at the Malaba One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) Busia OSBP, and Isebania border, aimed at seeking sustainable solutions to reduce recurring trucks snarl-ups which have in the last one month disrupted cross border trade and led to loss as well as damage of goods worth millions of shillings.
EABC CEO, Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki noted that various border points lack COVID-19 reagents and testing kits.
He further said that distressed truck drivers awaiting and collecting their COVID-19 results fail to observe Covid19 protocols among them social distancing and wearing of masks.
“Testing COVID-19 at border points should come to a stop to ease congestion of trucks which is hindering cross-border trade and reducing trade volumes, just when the region is struggling to recover from the pandemic,” said Dr. Mathuki.
According to Dr. Mathuki, the move will strengthen cross-border trade making it resilient in the face of future shocks and boost the competitiveness of East African goods in the continental and global markets.
The council is also calling for small-scale cross-border traders especially women, to be allowed to trade with adherence to Standard Operating Procedures put in place by the Ministries of Health.
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