KHARTOUM (Somali State) – Arrangements are underway between Sudan and Ethiopia to launch a single border crossing between the two countries to ease international trade flows and combat cross-border crime.
A four-day workshop to develop the legal framework for the border crossing has commenced in Khartoum on Monday with the participation of legal experts from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Sudan’s Minister of Presidential Affairs and head of the higher committee for border crossings Fadl Abdalla Fadl, who addressed the workshop, said the workshop seeks to develop a draft agreement between Sudan and Ethiopia on the border crossing.
He stressed that the single border crossing between Ethiopia and Sudan would facilitate efforts to combat cross-border crimes such as illegal drug trade and human trafficking.
For his part, the director of Sudan’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) Abdel-Hafiz Salih Ali pointed to the need to develop a legal framework to regulate the border-crossings through the implementation of the joint border station and the coordinated border management systems.
He stressed the importance for join work with the neighboring countries to achieve the optimal use of resources, increase the volume of international trade and combat cross-border crime.
Ali pointed that the GAC and the concerned government and private entities seek to benefit from the international trade facilitation standards by integrating work of international organizations such as the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization besides the regional economic and political blocs such as COMESA and IGAD.
He pointed that several African countries including Zambia, Zimbabwi, Rwanda and Burundi have applied the joint border station system which led to enhancing international trade flows.
Last year, the Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir said his country is determined to promote the existing relations with Ethiopia within the shared strategic vision the two neighbours stride together in order to open wide horizons for joint cooperation in all fields.
He stressed that Khartoum will aggressively engage to transform the large shared borders of Ethiopia and Sudan into a comprehensive economic integration.
As well as energy linkages, with Sudan’s oil and Ethiopia’s hydro-power processed electricity exchange, the two countries currently have an ongoing joint projects aimed to link their borders with roads and rail ways.