Component 1:Improving core trade infrastructure and facilities in the border areas

The project finances improvements to core trade infrastructure and facilities at specific land border crossing points.

In addition, provides support to ministries responsible for trade and commerce to finance the planning and construction of cross-border markets in the border areas.

Sub-component 1.1: Border infrastructure and facilities

The project supports improvements to infrastructure and facilities at priority border posts that are+ identified based on traffic volumes, importance to supply chains of goods traded most across the borders, relevance to conflict dynamics in the region and the poor state of infrastructure to support cross-border trade. The border posts selected for improvement through the project suffer from similar constraints, namely:

  • They are old, poorly maintained, and often inadequate to process and control cross-border traffic. IT equipment, when it exists, is insufficient, and systems are organized along institutions and not integrated.
  • Traders report abuse and ill-treatment by officials, even when they consider that they are following the rules.
  • Smuggling is rife with numerous instances where officials report spontaneous offers of donations or favors in exchange of turning a blind eye to the traffic.
  • Small shipments are often broken up into small loads and imported piecemeal by walking across the border line. Once cleared under a simplified taxation scheme, goods are immediately reconsolidated outside the border control area.

The project is addressing these constraints by applying several design principles even though each site has its own specificity, regarding traffic, population, culture, or history.

Topography also obviously plays a role. The guiding principles are the following:

Developing integrated facilities; The concept of one stop border posts is widely accepted across the project countries. A common approach has been promoted where initially, different agencies of the same country, and eventually officials from different countries are housed in the same facility.

Phasing of development; A modular approach to development has been adopted, where feasible. Although it is difficult to predict future developments, a border facility must be flexible enough to evolve over time, taking into account new conditions.

Providing for channeling of traffic; Under current operations, there is an unending flow of pedestrians, trishaws and motor bikes, without much control. The basic principle of border

operations is to separate different categories of traffic. The project finances the provision of lanes to protect users, including fencing-off to a sufficient height, to enhance control. The lanes provide for single-direction flow.


The project is financing the renovation of the entire Mpondwe border post, in phases as follows:

  • Rehabilitation of the parking area and installation of an unloading bay and Customs storage areas.
  • Installation of two one-way and fenced-off pedestrian lanes, between the bridge and the border control facilities. This prevents access to the inhabited area close to the border, for which an alternative access road should be planned.
  • Replacing the narrow bridge between the two countries. Two pedestrian lanes are considered alongside the bridge.
  • New road design and construction to provide for one-way traffic flows (and thus resolve the turning radius and crossing issues).
  • Complement and to the extent that it is feasible, adapt the existing structure to introduce pedestrian control booths on its external sides.
  • New border infrastructure, facilities and systems at Mpondwe, the Uganda side of the border.

Mpondwe and Bunagana

The project is financing interventions at the following border posts:

Uganda: building new facilities and systems at Mpondwe and improvements as above at Bunagana

Sub-component 1.2: Development of border markets and logistics

The project is financing the construction of markets to facilitate market exchanges of agricultural products in the borderlands of Bunagana, Mpondwe and Goli. Border markets facilitate the

selling and buying of goods at locations close to the border and serve also as logistics platforms to allow consolidation and transportation of products. They enable the small scale producers to reduce post-harvest losses and to engage more in cross- border trade without having to travel over long distances into neighboring countries.

Sub-component 1.4: Feasibility studies

  • Support is being provided to Uganda for feasibility studies and detailed designs of border posts in order to advance preparation of the second phase of the project

(SOP2) or interventions by governments or other development partners. The studies and designs are on the following: Uganda:Goli border post