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HomeNewsHigh level inter-ministerial meeting aimed at resolving Kasumbalesa border challenges underway

High level inter-ministerial meeting aimed at resolving Kasumbalesa border challenges underway

By John Chola

Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali is among the Zambian delegation attending an Inter-Ministerial Task Force Meeting of SADC Ministers of Trade, Transport and Security matters on the Resolution of the Challenges at the Kasumbalesa Border Post.

The high-level meeting being held in Kinshasa, the Capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), started on Tuesday May 7 and ends Thursday May 9, 2024.

The meeting is being held following the 43rd SADC Summit of Heads of State and government, held on the August 17, 2023 in Luanda, Angola, where a directive was made to resolve the border challenges.

Jack Mwimbu, the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security for Zambia is also attending the meeting.

According to SADC, the move is meant to find a lasting solution to the perennial problems encountered by traders, both commercial and small-scale cross the border, transporters, drivers and border control agencies on both sides at the Kasumbalesa border post which is between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Zambia.

The SADC has observed that the Kasumbalesa Border Post on both sides of the DRC and Zambian border is a transit point as far as trade is concerned, handling goods not only from the two but other countries within the region.

Goods from beyond the region, including East African Community, West Africa, China, India, Europe, and the United States of America also transit through this border for final consumption not only in the Haut-Katanga Province of the DRC, but in other provinces as well.

The Kasumbalesa Border Post is characterised by perennial challenges that are reported in the news media from time to time which includes congestion at the border post, trade facilitation-related challenges, infrastructure challenges and need for increased insecurity, especially for truck drivers and the entire trading community.

It is against this background that the Inter-Ministerial Task Force Meeting is called to find a lasting solution to the perennial problems encountered by traders-both commercial and small-scale cross border traders, transporters, drivers, and Border Control Agencies (BCAs) on both sides of the Kasumbalesa border, among many other stakeholders.

The SADC Secretariat has been directed to report back with concrete recommendations at the next SADC Summit to be held in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The meeting will consider the draft Framework of Cooperation and the Action Plan developed, containing a comprehensive list of critical activities and initiatives that will address the problems occurring at the border of Kasumbalesa and satellite border posts of Sakania, Mokambo, and Kipushi among several others.

The meeting will be preceded by the meetings of Technical officers and Permanent Secretaries from the two countries and the Ministers from both countries will sign on May 9th, 2024.

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