Construction of a Joint Border Post between Liberia and Sierra Leone would facilitate cross-border trade and the free movement of persons and goods along the Dakar-Abidjan Corridor, officials of the regional trade bloc ECOWAS have said
Chris Appiah, ECOWAS’ head of maritime & transport corridors said ECOWAS is working with member states to reconfigure border crossing facilities with an aim to decongest and clear border posts currently blocked by vehicles, traders and haulers.
Border points experienced blockade sometimes for weeks due to cumbersome bureaucracies and manual control measures coupled with separate independent national systems.
“The JBPs [joint border posts] have the potential of sealing revenue leakages to countries as a result of inefficient border control, which has been estimated by the World Bank to amount to over 15% of the value of imported goods,” Appiah said.
The JBP concept provides a jointly operated interconnected platform where both exit and entry controls are undertaken concurrently or in succession from a one stop location within one control zone on land belonging to the Community, such that all travelers and traffic utilizing the Post stop only once in each direction of travel.
“in preparedness for trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area “AfCFTA”, the Joint Border Posts have the potential to drastically reduce the number of stops in cross-border trade through increased effectiveness of cross-border controls, greater data sharing and joint operations.”
Other notable advantages, according to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) include a reduction of trade and logistics costs, improved free movement of persons and goods; improved cross-border cooperation and security, reduction of corruption, delays, operating costs, and the recurrence of social evils such as alcoholism and promiscuity experienced by truckers and freight forwarders due to delays at borders.
The Liberia-Sierra Leone common border will be based in Jendema-Bo Waterside .
Sierra Leone exports to Liberia was US$2.31 Million during 2018, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.
The total trade of the region has averaged $208.1 billion. Exports are projected at approximately $137.3 billion while imports total about $80.4 billion.
The main active countries in trade are Nigeria, which alone accounts for approximately 76 percent of total trade followed by Ghana (9.2 percent) and Côte d’Ivoire (8.64 percent).
The trade surplus of the region, estimated at about $47.3 billion is attributable to Nigeria ($58.4 billion) and Côte d’Ivoire ($3.4 billion) when all other Countries have a deficit in the trade balance.