Deal Reached to End Kenya-Uganda Border Impasse

David Indeje is Khusoko’s Digital Editor, covering East African markets.
Kenya and Uganda have agreed to resolve the border impasse to reduce the backlog of trucks. Key among the boarders is the Busia-Malaba.

The Council of Ministers of the  East African Community (EAC) Friday said Kenya and Uganda have reached an agreement to conduct testing for Covid-19 using the same antigen test to reduce the backlog of trucks.

A statement issued by the EAC following a joint multi-sectoral virtual meeting of the ministers responsible for the community’s affairs, health and transport convened by the secretariat.  

The development is different from the 14 days Covid-q9 testing period that had been agreed upon at the regional level and monitored through the Regional Electronic Cargo and Drivers Tracking System (RECDTS) launched in 2020.

The RECDTS system shares truck driver’s information leveraging on that which is managed and operated by Revenue Authorities in the region, and the existing health information systems in the Partner States. 

The system is supported by four (4) Command Operating Centres (COCs) located in four locations at designated national Revenue authorities in Kenya, Uganda, DRC and Rwanda, with one additional COC at the Nimule border post for the Republic of South Sudan.

“This will mitigate the impact on the movement of goods, persons, workers and services across the region,” said Adan Mohamed, Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development. 

The meeting noted that clearing the queue required a significant increase in testing capacity if the one-week target is to be achieved.

The two countries also agreed to increase the number of health officers at Busia and Malaba borders to urgently clear the trucks backlog at the two border posts. For instance, Uganda has will increase its health officers from 50 to 100 and Kenya will deploy an additional 15.  

Before Friday’s meeting, the EAC Partner States agreed to implement the EACPASS -as it is set to fast-track verification of Covid-19 test results/vaccination certificates.

EACPass, a system, integrates all EAC Partner States negative test results for Covid-19 and those vaccinated, easing turnaround time at border points.

In December, Uganda introduced mandatory Covid-19 testing for drivers to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. It was also charging $30 (KSh3,399) per test, leading to protest by drivers transporting cargo between Mombasa and Kampala.

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David Indeje is Khusoko’s Digital Editor, covering East African markets.

In my role as Community Engagement Editor For Khusoko, I care about our audience. engaging them, getting news delivered to them across a variety of platforms, and expanding the diversity of voices on our website.

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