TANZANIA – Tanzania and Zambia have launched their new one-stop border post in Tunduma-Nakonde in a bid to develop trade between member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC).

The launch hosted by Tanzanian president John Magufuli and his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu saw the opening of the US$6 million border post, which will reduce waiting time from four days to just one.

The construction of the state-of-the-art border post at Tunduma in Tanzania and Nakonde in Zambia was financed by TradeMark East Africa, an organisation that aims to improve trade competitiveness in East Africa by reducing transport, time and costs and improving the trade environment.

A statement by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House in the business capital Dar es Salaam said the leaders commended the construction of the post, saying it will ease doing business between the two countries and within the southern African region.

Trade volume between Tanzania and Zambia surged from US$89 million in 2010 to US$265 billion last year. Magufuli said he hoped for more growth, with 965 large- and medium-scale enterprises from Tanzania investing in Zambia, while eight Zambian companies have created 312 jobs, investing more than $10 million in Tanzania.

President Magufuli directed relevant authorities, including the Tanzania Revenue Authority and the Immigration Department to ensure that they removed all hurdles that frustrated doing business between the two countries and the southern African region at large, said the statement.

“People in our two countries should do business in very friendly environment. This will help to improve their welfare as well as improving the economies of the two countries,” said Magufuli.

For his part, President Lungu said the construction of the one stop border post will facilitate trade among the 16-member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that boasts a market for 344 million people.

Magufuli cited some of the joint projects as the 1,710-kilometre Tanzania-Zambia Pipeline Limited and the 1,860-km Chinese-constructed Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) that connects landlocked Zambia to the seaport of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.