Government has handed over essential border equipment to the Department of Immigration and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) valued €74,000.
The equipment was procured under the Zambia Boarder Posts Upgrade Project, financed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) trade facilitation programme.
Among the equipment handed over on Friday in Lusaka by Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Lillian Bwalya, included Biometric Web Cameras, Passport Readers, Permit Card Printers and Encoders all valued at 74,000 Euros.
Handing over the equipment, Bwalya noted the need to improve systems and processes for clearing traders and other traveling persons.
“Notably, contemporary research generally shows that recent reforms instituted by government and investments made on Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) and connectivity have enhanced on the efficiency of the Department of Immigration at some ports of entry,” she said.
Bwalya said cross border mobility and trade are inherently interconnected because goods cannot cross borders and contribute to formal economic development without the people.
She said the recent time release study undertaken for Chirundu and Kazungula One Stop Border Posts showed that the average clearance time for passengers in 2022 for Chirundu was about three minutes while for Kazungula was about four minutes.
“This event marks exactly two weeks when we convened, in a similar manner to handover other essential border equipment which included Metal Detectors, Computers and Printers to the Zambia Police and Road Transport and Safety Agency valued at 150,000 Euros,” Bwalya said.
She said the procured driver license printer, driver license readers and scanners would help enhance and expedite clearance and issuance of drivers license and permits to transporters.
COMESA EDF Programme Manager, Mshuka Kamwela, said securing national borders was a delicate process which must be done professionally requiring a balance of effectiness of control and efficiency.
“The use of modern ICTs therefore goes a long way in ensuring that border posts are foolproof to illegal entries but at the same time very friendly to legitimate travelers,” Kamwela said.
European Union (EU) team Leader Social Sectors and Governance, Bogdan Stefanescu, pledged the EU’s continued support to COMESA and government in attaining the objectives set forth to reach an effective regional integration towards a continental impact.
The Zambia Boarder Posts Upgrade Project, financed under the 11th EDF, COMESA trade facilitation programme sought to upgrade three Zambian Boarder Posts namely Nakonde, Chirundu and Mwami.
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