Uganda alongside the five other East African countries received border patrol equipment from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The UGX 1.7 billion worth of equipment aimed to improve border patrol against terrorism was handed over to Commissioner Customs of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) by the Chief Representative of JICA.
“With UGX1.7 Billion in financial support from the Government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will complete the delivery of the border control equipment in Uganda,” the statement partly read.
Some of the border equipment that were handed over include a surveillance boat, x-ray screening, drug detection kits among others.
“A surveillance boat and vehicles, the final portion of the variety of the equipment, will be handed ….. also baggage X-ray screening, portable Raman spectrometers and drug detection kits to five of the East Africa Community (EAC) countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda,” the statement further read.
These equipments are meant to facilitate the cubbing of illegal activities along the borders of East Africa which will in turn promote the economic development of East African countries.
“Threats of terrorism and violent extremism, as well as the trade of small arms and light weapons and explosives, challenge the economic development and integration in East Africa. Trafficking of illegal drugs, such as heroin, is another major challenge across these countries’ borders. Uganda is the geographic center to tackle such issues,” it further states.
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This moves follows a request pledged by the East African countries from the Japanese government to help enable the growth and development of the five countries due to the above cited problems hence facilitating the opening of the program like many previous ones which includes the construction of the one-stop border post.
“The project has been implemented by JICA as “Project on Capacity Development for Trade Facilitation and Border Control in East Africa (2017-2022)” where the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) are contracted to procure and install, respectively, border control and surveillance equipment,” it is further indicated.
This is not the first time the Japanese government through JICA is facilitating projects within the East African community as it also facilitated the construction of the art of state one-stop border posts.