DRC and Zambia Sign Border Deal to Facilitate Seamless Trade at Kasumbalesa

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia have signed a landmark border agreement aimed at facilitating more seamless trade between the two nations. The cooperation agreement, signed under the Southern African Development Community (SADC), focuses on easing trade flow at the Kasumbalesa border, the second busiest land border in the SADC bloc.

The agreement was reported by the East African and highlights the commitment of both countries to address the challenges faced by transporters and traders. The Ministers from the DRC and Zambia presented a preliminary framework and an action plan designed to provide long-term solutions to these difficulties.

Peter Kazadi, the DRC Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Interior and Security, emphasized the importance of finding lasting solutions to the problems associated with the Kasumbalesa border. “The incessant calls from transporters in the SADC network about the difficulties they encounter daily in carrying out their activities have reached our ears,” Kazadi stated.

“The incessant calls from transporters in the SADC network about the difficulties they encounter daily in carrying out their activities have reached our ears,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.

“DRC is concerned about this situation, which is hampering the smooth flow of trade between our two countries. We have agreed to work together with Zambia and find a lasting solution to this situation,” he added.

Key aspects of the agreement include:

Streamlined Customs Procedures: Both countries have agreed to implement joint customs procedures to expedite the movement of goods and reduce delays.

Infrastructure Improvements: Investment in border infrastructure is planned to facilitate more efficient transit and accommodate the heavy traffic at Kasumbalesa.

Enhanced Coordination: There will be improved communication and coordination between border agencies of the DRC and Zambia to ensure smooth operations.

Support for Transporters: Measures will be taken to address the specific concerns of transporters, including reducing bureaucratic hurdles and providing better support services.

The Kasumbalesa is situated at the intersection of major commerce arteries in the area, including North-South Corridors, Dar es Salaam Development Corridor, Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor, Beira Development Corridor, and Lobito Development Corridor.

Every day around 300 lorries pass the border carrying imported products as well as an additional 300 carrying goods intended for export as mentioned by tax expert Jérôme Sekana.

The cooperation agreement aims to make cross-border trade easier and more efficient, benefiting not only the DRC and Zambia but also the broader SADC region by promoting economic growth and regional integration.

The signing of this agreement marks a significant step towards resolving long-standing issues at the Kasumbalesa border and demonstrates the commitment of both nations to fostering a more conducive trading environment. Regular monitoring and updates will be provided to ensure the effective implementation of the agreed measures.

This initiative is expected to enhance trade flows, reduce transportation costs, and improve the overall competitiveness of the economies within the SADC region.

Source: Business Insider

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