With the opening of the new customs point at Suam next month, Kenyan and Ugandan merchants now using the shared border crossings at Malaba and Busia will have even more options for transporting their goods.
The two countries have been upgrading the Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale trade one-stop border customs and immigration post into a one-stop border post. The project is expected to be completed in September 2023.
According to Kenya’s interior ministry, the single location for travellers and goods to clear customs and immigration formalities will reduce time and costs for cross-border transactions, making it more attractive for investment. Additionally, the customs point at Suam will reduce smuggling and illegal activities, benefiting businesses and consumers in both countries.
“The wider project includes the Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale trade route and costs Ksh5 billion ($35 million). It is meant to improve the transport and clearance of goods. The facility is due to open by the end of September,” Kenya’s Interior and National Coordination Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said.
“African Development Bank is providing funding for this project, which also has the backing of the governments of Kenya and Uganda, as well as China State Engineering Construction Corporation, the project’s primary contractor. It will ease the movement of goods between our two countries and also open up the East Africa region, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan and Djibouti. We are banking on it to boost our cross-border business,” Omollo added after an inspection.
The chairman of the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers’ Union, Sudi Mwatela, claims that traffic bottlenecks at the Busia and Malaba border posts will be alleviated thanks to the upgraded road project.
Omollo said the project will boost inter-country security as well as attract business. He further noted that it is a critical project between Uganda and Kenya and will improve business clearance and support local investments.