Slow border logistics is costing Africa a fortune and must be brought to an end

When I last visited Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, I was horrified by the dreadfully long queues of heavily laden trucks waiting to cross through border posts. I chatted to a few of the truck drivers and they complained bitterly about their long waits. It’s simply nonsensical and a gross brake on economic activity to collect customs duties in such an outdated manner.

Technology is available to allow laden trucks and trains to pass through border posts and customs duties paid electronically. Minerals Council South Africa last week complained about trucks laden with chrome for export from Maputo having to stand in line behind 250 to 300 other trucks held up at the Lebombo-Ressano Garcia post. There’s no need for such nonsense.

Technology is available to flash the errant goods of transgressors on to computer screens and have the perpetrators also highlighted remotely to avoid corruption, but law-abiding transporters should not have to be delayed so expensively and the continent’s economy made to suffer needlessly.