One Stop Border Posts

Transport is a catalyst for sustainable economic development and growth.  Improved transport infrastructure in Africa would facilitate and grow domestic, regional and international trade, lower the cost of doing business and make African nations more competitive.

To support the development and maintenance of Africa’s ‘hard’ transport infrastructure (such as roads, railways and ports) it is vital that the continent also develops its ‘soft’ infrastructure – the financial, regulatory and governance systems, frameworks, personnel and institutions to manage the transport systems to their full capacity.

A key cause of lengthy transit times through Africa, hindering intra-regional trade, has been the often long procedures involved in passing through two sets of identical controls on each side of the border.  As well as causing delays, lengthy transit times increase the cost of trade, and make African businesses less competitive.  Given that Africa comprises 54 countries, 16 of which are land-locked, the negative impact of inefficient border controls on Africa’s economy is significant.

The ICA works to overcome challenges to developing Africa’s infrastructure, and helps to improve understanding of Africa’s infrastructure development needs through the provision of better information.  To support this, in 2010 the ICA Transport Sector Platform was established, led by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

An early initiative of the Platform was the development and publication of a guide book relating to the establishment and operation of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), which help to significantly reduce the time it takes for goods and traders to cross borders, through the processing of border clearance under one roof. 

First published in 2011, the OSBP Sourcebook project was funded & driven by JICA, in close cooperation with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the East African Community.

The OSBP Sourcebook, an operational guide to the OSBP concept, covers issues such as legal and regulatory frameworks, simplification and harmonisation of border procedures, physical border post facilities, and making best use of ICT.  Around 80 OSBP projects have been identified since the Sourcebook was first published and the revised edition, currently awaiting publication, will continue to be an invaluable guide and resource in the continuing drive to facilitate and expand trade in Africa.

The 2nd Edition of the OSBP Sourcebook will be published on the ICA website shortly, and will be available to view and download.  If you would like to receive the Sourcebook immediately, please email the Africa Department, JICA - either Ms Ina Enatsu ( or Mr Kojiro Fujino (

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