President William Ruto and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, are set to launch a one-stop border post at the Suam border point in Trans Nzoia along the Kenya-Uganda border in the coming weeks.

Speaking on Tuesday during the official opening of the 3rd sitting of the 3rd session of the 5th East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Ruto said the joint effort aims to bolster trade between the neighboring states.

The upgraded border post will consolidate immigration, customs, security, and sanitation checks under one roof.

“President Museveni and I will be launching a one-stop border post in Suam in a couple of weeks,” he said.

The project is funded by the African Development Bank and supported by the governments of Kenya and Uganda, as well as the China State Engineering Construction Corporation.

Further, he emphasized the significance of this initiative in facilitating the movement of people and goods within the region.

Ruto attributed the project’s success to the policies and legislation championed by EALA, which have addressed barriers hindering regional integration.

“Our customs union is on the move, with this Assembly creating legislative frameworks to establish a common external tariff, uniform customs rules and procedures, and common rules of origin.”

The Head of State highlighted the Assembly’s role in establishing frameworks for a customs union, uniform customs rules, procedures, and rules of origin and eliminating non-tariff barriers.

Furthermore, Ruto praised EALA for its contributions to concluding the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite free trade area, signing the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, and adopting the EAC e-commerce strategy.

Ruto noted that implementing one-stop border posts has significantly reduced truck turnaround times along transport corridors and an 84 percent decrease in clearance times at border crossings, enhancing regional trade efficiency.

“This is why intra-EAC trade is the highest of the trading blocks in our continent at 25%.,” he said.

With a collective GDP of $350 billion, a population of 350 million, and an area of 5 million square kilometers, Ruto stated that EAC member states present an attractive investment destination.

Ruto highlighted that EAC’s total trade in 2022 stood at $74 billion, with Africa accounting for 44% and 25% of EAC’s total exports and imports, respectively.