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Developing Countries: Borders

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what joint working his Department has undertaken with COMESA and USAID to strengthen border controls of developing countries which are vulnerable to petty corruption. (211796)

DFID is working through its Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (RTFP) to strengthen border controls by setting up three one stop border posts (OSPBs) between: Zambia and Zimbabwe; Mozambique and South Africa; and Lesotho and South Africa. The RTFP is partnering with the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to set up these OSBPs.

The OSBPs will replace border processing facilities (for incoming and outgoing traffic) on either side of two countries with a single border control management system and better scanning facilities. A major benefit is that the multiple bureaucratic requirements that currently provide opportunities for corruption are also reduced.

USAID, through its Trade Hub in Gaborone (Botswana), is also working to strengthen border controls. Their current focus is on improving the Trans Kalahari (Nambia, Botswana and South Africa) and the Maputo (Mozambique and South Africa) development corridors. DFID does not have a formal collaboration with USAID, but we do regularly exchange information on our trade facilitation activities.