The Government of Japan donated to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) border control and surveillance equipment to support trade facilitation and supply chain security.
A handing over ceremony was held at the KRA Headquarters on Friday . The equipment including X-ray baggage scanners, patrol boats, patrol vehicles, raman spectrometers, and field test kits was procured by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The Government of Japan has supported KRA under a grant aid project “Enhancing Trade Facilitation and Border Control Capacity in East Africa” with more than USD 378,000 covering five East African countries, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and World Customs Organization have been providing capacity development for customs, meanwhile UNOPS procured border control equipment in partnership with JICA.
KRA Commissioner for Corporate Support Services Dr. David Kinuu, Japanese Ambassador HE Horie Ryoichi, JICA Kenya Office Chief Representative Mr. IWAMA Hajime, and UNOPS Kenya Multi Country Office Head of Programme Ms. Sonja Varga, attended the handover ceremony in Nairobi.
Dr. Kinuu while acknowledging the receipt of the equipment, said “The equipment will enhance operations of the authority’s Customs and Border Control department. These tools will improve border security and boost customer service at the ports of entry due to their non-intrusive nature”.
He added that the equipment will be installed in various points of operation such as: the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Lake Victoria Sea Port, Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN), Kilindini Port and other critical border points. Dr. Kinuu acknowledged JICA, UNOPS and the Government of Japan for their support in boosting customs and tax administration in Kenya and noted that the baggage scanner for instance, will significantly reduce physical verification of passenger baggage at JKIA. “The nonintrusive baggage scanning technology will ensure that our customers are served more efficiently and expeditiously”, said the Commissioner General.
Ambassador of Japan to Kenya HE Horie Ryoichi said: “In Kenya, the Government of Japan through JICA has been working to strengthen its customs administration for about 15 years including supporting the smooth operations of the One Stop Border Post. I assure you that the Government of Japan will continue in its commitment to support the improvement of customs capacity not only in East Africa but also throughout Africa.”
Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency Kenya office Hajime Iwama said: “It is our sincere hope that the equipment will go a long way in enhancing the capacity of Customs administrations on trade facilitation and supply chain of security around the borders.”
Ms. Sonja Varga, Head of Programme, Kenya Multi-Country Office, UNOPS said: “This new equipment will help the authorities carry out their duties in ensuring safety for passengers and professionals working at the airport. We are privileged and grateful for the opportunity to enable the timely delivery of this important support package.”
In 2019, to further promote economic development in the region, the five Revenue Authorities of East African Community countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda requested the Government of Japan to provide grant assistance on trade facilitation and border control equipment. In responding to the request and with the approval of the Government of Japan, JICA and UNOPS have procured and provided the equipment in order to enhance the capacity of border surveillance and control by the five Revenue Authorities.
The equipment delivered will be used to detect any dangerous or contraband items within luggage, parcels and/or cargo as well as support in monitoring and detection of the 14 precursor chemicals and other components used to manufacture improvised explosive devices. With increasing global threats to security in the region, there is a need to invest in the security supply chain to support customs authorities at border points not only on the revenue collection but also on trade facilitation.