Djibouti, Ethiopia, S. Sudan and Sudan agreed to form a logistics authority called the Djibouti Corridor Authority (DCA) and a One Stop Border Post development project to facilitate the transit of goods and passengers.
The authority will aim to accelerate economic activity in the region and is expected to start operating by the end of the year.
The four countries reached a consensus to form the authority in order to develop the Djibouti corridor and benefit all member nations. The formation of the sub-regional body provides an efficient and effective route for the transportation of goods by land and sea between the respective countries.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) drafted the regulation that will govern the DCA.
The draft regulation was tabled for a two-day expert panel discussion on June 22 at Friendship International Hotel in Addis Ababa. Ministers and representatives of the member states amended the draft, which was forwarded for approval on the third day.
The document states that countries should grant each other the right of transit in order to facilitate the movement of goods throughout the region.
“The Djibouti Corridor is available to imports and exports from corridor member states as an efficient economic addition to other trade routes, probably the most cost effective,” the draft document explained.
The DCA will also facilitate mutually beneficial business partnership between member states. The cost effective system deployed by the authority will encourage the implementation of ongoing bilateral projects.
Customs offices present on either side of a given border are also obliged to improved customs transit procedures and the implementation of joint customs control.
Tekletsadik Reba, State Minister of Transport, told Capital that the DCA will significantly benefit member countries, as it will considerably reduce transportation cost.
“We can be competitive in the international market if the transport cost declines significantly,” Tekletsadik noted.
The two landlocked countries in the corridor, Ethiopia and South Sudan, will gain from increased access to the two ports in Sudan and Djibouti, experts commented.
Ministers of the four countries are expected to sign the amended agreement in Djibouti next month.
Djibouti and Ethiopia have expressed their interest to host the DCA secretariat. The headquarters’ location will be decided at an upcoming conference in Djibouti.
Another similar organization, the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA), was established in 1985 in Eastern Africa by five countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Donat M. Bagula, Executive Secretary of NCTTCA, briefly presented the operation of the authority and shared experiences with the participants.
The Northern corridor is the transport corridor linking the landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi with Kenya’s maritime port of Mombasa. Similarly, the Northern Corridor serves the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan and Northern Tanzania.