The Zimbabwe Electronic Single Window (ESW) initiative has made significant progress in streamlining and modernizing cross-border trade processes. With successful pilot run of the Port Health module, implementation at Forbes Border Post and Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport. The benefits of the ZESW are already apparent with positive impacts of the ZESW, including improved turnaround times, simplified procedures, reduced trading costs, alignment with international best practices, increased transparency, integrity, and enhanced revenue inflows to the government through ZIMRA.

In the first quarter of 2024, the Zimbabwe Electronic Single Window system witnessed a significant number of transactions at Forbes and RGM International Airport. At Forbes, 791 import transactions and 72 export transactions were successfully processed, demonstrating the growing acceptance of the system by traders. Similarly, at RGM International Airport, 170 import transactions and 19 export transactions were efficiently handled. Additionally, the system facilitated the clearance of 45 human remains imports and 2 exports at RGM International Airport. With a total of well over a thousand transactions processed in just the first quarter of 2024, these figures highlight the increasing adoption and success of the Zimbabwe Electronic Single Window system in streamlining trade operations.

One of the key advantages of the ZESW is the improved turnaround time for clearing goods and services. By digitizing and automating processes, the ZESW has eliminated manual paperwork and reduced administrative bottlenecks. This efficiency has resulted in faster clearance procedures, enabling businesses to save time and money. Additionally, the ZESW has simplified and harmonized procedures across different agencies, facilitating smoother trade operations.

The implementation of the ZESW has significantly reduced cross-border trading costs. By eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork, businesses no longer face excessive delays and associated expenses. Moreover, the ESW promotes transparency by providing a centralized platform for trade-related activities. This transparency enhances accountability, minimizes corruption risks, and fosters trust between traders and government authorities.

Mr. Anoziva Keche, a transporter from Beitbridge, expressed his anticipation for the positive impact of the system, stating, "The implementation of this system will enable us to conveniently submit our applications from our offices, which is undoubtedly beneficial. We are optimistic that it will lead to a significant reduction in turnaround time for our trucks at the border."

The ZESW in Zimbabwe aligns processes and procedures with international best practices. By adopting global standards, the country can enhance its competitiveness and attract foreign investments. The ESW enables Zimbabwe to integrate seamlessly into regional and international trade networks, facilitating smoother trade flows and increasing economic growth opportunities.

Ms. Vivian Nenhunzi, representing Kings and Queens Funeral Palour, expressed her belief that the system would greatly assist in alleviating the emotional burden on bereaved families. She stated, "The implementation of this system will undoubtedly make the process for bereaved families less painful. By utilizing the Single Window system for our applications, we anticipate that undertakers will spend less time at the border, allowing us to make the process less stressful for the bereaved families."

Additionally, Mr. Adrian Swarres, the Zimbabwe Electronic Single Window project manager from ZIMRA, highlighted the key benefits of the single window system. He explained, "The implementation of the single window system introduces an automated and seamless clearance platform. Clients will only need to submit their documents once to fulfill regulatory requirements. This streamlined process offers unparalleled convenience to clients, as they will have the ability to access payments and conduct transactions from the comfort of their own homes."

Building on the successes achieved, the ZESW continued to expand its coverage. With the  rolling out the system with Port Health module at Beitbridge completed in May 2024 and implementation at Plumtree expected to be completed before the end of June 2024. Simultaneously, the development of modules for the Ministry of Industry and the National Biotechnology Authority is underway, ensuring a comprehensive and integrated trade facilitation framework.