By Pauline Kaude, MANA in Dar es Salaam
President Lazarus Chakwera has disclosed that government plans to establish one-stop border posts in the country’s borders to ensure smooth running of businesses with neighbouring countries.
Speaking soon after holding bilateral talks with his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Magufuli, at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where he is on a two-day state visit, the President said the one-stop border posts will help facilitate movement of people and services much faster, besides increasing revenue collection.
“The one-stop border posts will help to eradicate bureaucracy that sometimes only fuels corruption and enable Malawians and other people from neighboring countries do their businesses in a more transparent manner,” he said.
He added that there is need to learn from best practices on how Tanzania and other countries are managing their one-stop border centres and that it was his wish to have Malawian and Tanzanian business people partnering more than they are doing now.
He said there is need to fully utilize the port of Dar es Salaam and the Mtwala port which is currently being rehabilitated and will be ready by December this year.
“We need to utilize the natural resources that God has endowed upon us to develop our countries. Time has come for Africa to tell its own story, define its own destiny and move according to its own speed rather than waiting for others to tell the story for you,” said the President.
He said Malawi has lost a lot of natural resources unlike Tanzania through people who have come to get minerals and other precious stones without the country getting anything in return.
Tanzania President Magufuli assured Chakwera of his country’s continued good working relationship to ensure smooth running of businesses.
Magufuli said he has instructed the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) to open an office in Lilongwe to enable people clear, pay and collect their cargo right in Lilongwe.
“Tanzania too has a lot of people doing businesses in Malawi and we need to create an enabling environment for business people from the two countries,” Magufuli said.
He appealed to the joint permanent commission to do its work quickly on mining, fisheries, trade and immigration in the two countries.
Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Eisenhower Mkaka has since described the visit as very important considering the strategic nature of Tanzania which, apart from sharing borders with Malawi, is also the main route which is used to transport both liquid and dry cargo.
The President was on Thursday expected to visit the Malawi Cargo Centre, the port of Dar es Salaam and also inaugurate the Mbezi Luis Upcountry Bus Terminal before departing for Malawi.
Meanwhile, the country’s First Lady, Madame Monica Chakwera — who is accompanying the President took her time off to interact with the ladies wing of the Malawi community in Tanzania.
During the interaction, the First Lady emphasized on her ambition to uplift the plight of Malawian girls by assisting them in their education through her newly-launched Shaping Our Future Foundation.