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Using information and communication technology to improve the efficiency of African border posts
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African border posts have long been characterized by high levels of inefficiency, resulting in long cross-border delays that hamper the African economy. This partly results from the conflicting objectives of the multiplicity of stakeholders: while cargo owners and transporters focus on short turn-around times, the priority of customs authorities is to prevent the movement of illegal contraband and to optimize the collection of customs duties. In the paper we demonstrate that it is possible to further the objectives of all stakeholders by using automated identification technologies to monitor the status of freight consignments and by sharing of such data amongst key stakeholders. We describe the development of a simulator to model cross-border processes and experiment with different simulated scenarios to determine the impact of potential new measures on cross-border delay times. The simulator is calibrated based on the results of physical cross-border time delay studies. It is then demonstrated that the use of technology to implement a system of Green and Red Lanes, combined with the dynamic adjustment of customs processing capacity, can have a very significant positive impact on cross-border efficiencies