The high cost of exporting and importing goods to, from and within Southern Africa discourages international trade, makes commerce and industry less competitive and contributes to food insecurity. Some of the main contributors to the high cost of trade are delays at the border posts. The main aim of the IBM program is to reduce the time goods take to cross borders and therefore reduce the cost of trade. As one of the initial steps in the implementation of the IBM, SATH conducted a border operations assessment (BOA) at the Tunduma/Nakonde border which lies along the Dar es Salaam Corridor from 1 - 7 June 2011.
The primary purpose of the BOA was to analyze what the current border operations are with a view of making recommendations that would reduce the time and cost of transportation of goods and to set time baselines to assess the impact of IBM recommendations. In recognition of the critical role played by informal traders in the SADC region's economies, the border assessment also covered the clearance procedures for goods from small traders/ informal cross border traders (ICBTs).