COMESA, Djibouti sign US$3m agreement to upgrade Galafi border post

DJIBOUTI – The COMESA Secretariat and the Government of Djibouti have signed an agreement that sub-delegates the implementation of coordinated border management activities at the Galafi border post, on the Djibouti- Ethiopia border.

A total of US$3 million is allocated to this project under the European Union-funded Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

The objective of the sub-delegation agreement is to enhance Djibouti’s progressive participation in regional and international integration agenda through progressive removal of trade barriers at the border.

Djibouti will receive support in the development of improved and harmonized regulatory frameworks and procedures at its border crossing to Ethiopia. This is in line with international and regional standards and best practices.

Activities will focus on automation of border processes and inter-connectivity of border agencies, upgrade priority cross-border infrastructure and procure equipment aimed to improve cross-border trade and transport facilitation at the Galafi border post between Djibouti and Ethiopia.

The project will support the capacity building of national stakeholders and the technical assistance to the Djibouti National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) in border management and coordination.

This project is part of the €48 million (US$57 million) COMESA Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), financed under the 11th European Development Fund, through a grant agreement of the EU with COMESA, signed in November 2018.

The TFP has five key result areas, covering among others, deepening regional integration, improving inclusive regional economic growth and enhancing the competitiveness of the COMESA region.

COMESA Secretary-General, Ms. Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe, and Mr. Ali Daoud Abdou, Secretary-General from Ministry of Commerce of Djibouti, signed the sub-delegation agreement in Lusaka and Djibouti this week.

“This support facilitated the development of action plans to support trade facilitation across the Galafi border post and along the Djibouti Corridor”

Ministry of Commerce, Djibouti

In his remarks, Mr. Ali Daoud Abdou appreciates the support from COMESA and the EU which enabled his country to conduct border assessment studies, facilitate national consultation meetings with national stakeholders from public and private sector in Djibouti.

He affirmed his government’s commitment to supporting the effective implementation of the Project.

Ms. Kapwepwe said COMESA will facilitate financial, logistical and administrative processes in line with the contractual obligations.

She said the funds will also support capacity building for stakeholders on innovative and state-of-the-art border operations and the implementation of a border information awareness campaign on customs cooperation and trade facilitation instruments, among other deliverables.

Mr. Jacek Jankowski, Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and Special Representative to COMESA said: “This agreement is a testimony of the continued commitment by COMESA towards its core values. Deepening regional integration, improving inclusive regional economic growth and enhancing the competitiveness of the COMESA region transpire in today’s milestone on the Djibouti corridor.”

Mr. O’hara Aidan, the Ambassador to the European Union in Djibouti stated: “We welcome concrete actions like the support to the modernization of Galafi, a central border post between Ethiopia and Djibouti. It is part of a wider EU effort to promote regional integration improving the business climate, attracting the private sector and stimulating trade.”

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