When completed, the facilities will be part of a Japanese concept known as the One-Stop Border Post (OSBP), which aims to eliminate the daily border crossing nightmare with a sleek and efficient system embracing all border procedures, such as customs, immigration and vehicular clearance.
As some of the trucks at Namanga attest, crossings can literally take days or weeks. Officials estimate that an efficient OSBP system could cut the transit time to as little as half an hour with truck drivers or tourists able to clear all formalities at just one stop on either side of the border.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), together with local authorities and such partners as the AfDB, has introduced the border concept in various parts of Africa as part of an overall concentration to improve the continent's basic infrastructure, such as roads, ports and energy supply, which in turn should lead to higher economic performance and improved social conditions.
In addition to the frontier crossing, JICA and the AfDB have already helped finance the rebuilding of the major trunk road from the Tanzanian city of Arusha to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
In addition to accommodating the faster and more efficient movement of vehicular and human traffic, the OSBP and the new highway are also already spurring economic growth in and around Namanga itself and along various sections of the highway.
It is already far easier to move along the highway to places even further away, such as the Ugandan capital of Kampala.