Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 February 2011

Workshop on transport corridor development opens in Dar Es Salaam

 


 

 

 

Workshop on transport corridor development opens in Dar Es Salaam

 

 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 24, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A two-day workshop to review the East Africa Corridor Diagnostic Study (CDS) opened today at the Mlimani City Conference Center in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Mrs Sihanga Nkinga opened the workshop on behalf of Tanzania’s Minister of Transport Hon. Omari Nundu.

Stakeholders from the EAC and beyond are expected to provide their inputs on the proposed integrated Action Plan for the development as well as improvement of the region’s Northern and Central corridors. The workshop also aims to promote broad ownership of the CDS proposals.

In his opening statement, Hon. Nundu remarked that inadequate infrastructure is “an issue that constitutes the biggest concern for our region” and thus commended efforts by the EAC and development partners to address these challenges. He urged the workshop participants to come up with concrete recommendations to guide regional responses that would facilitate transportation of goods and in turn spur trade.

The Minister informed participants that the United Republic of Tanzania was committed to playing its part in improving regional infrastructure, observing that over the last ten years the country had built up to 570km of roads that have improved linkages with the landlocked Partner States of Rwanda and Burundi. In addition, Hon. Nundu said there were a number of initiatives at various levels of inception or implementation in the road, rail and water transport sectors.

Meanwhile the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Mr. Alloys Mutabingwa, said the high cost of transport is one of the serious challenges slowing development and that it was for this reason that development partners have partnered with the collaborating sub regions (of EAC, COMESA and SADC) to address the question of high costs of transport along various corridors.

 
 

He cited the ongoing implementation of the North South Corridor that begins from the port of Dar es Salaam and ends at the port of Durban linking seven countries in the EAC, COMESA and SADC blocs as an example of a promising regional response to the existing transportation challenges.

 
 

The EAC Deputy Secretary General added that the EAC is moving to reduce high transaction costs at border posts, which studies have shown contribute about 40% of the trade logistics costs, by transforming the existing inefficient two stop border posts into one stop border posts.

 
 

Mr Mutabingwa reported that the EAC is close to concluding a One Stop Border Post (OSBP) law to fully operationalize this project. The border posts at Malaba between Kenya and Uganda and at Nemba between Rwanda and Burundi are set to benefit from the OSBP concept.

 
 

The CDS proposes various priority infrastructure projects that include enhancing the handling capacities of the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, revival of railways infrastructure, rehabilitation of lake ports and upgrading of Northern and Central corridor road infrastructure in all five EAC Partner States and up to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 
 

Priority operational projects include improving efficiency in customs clearances, Information Technology systems and harmonizing transport policies among others. The priority infrastructure and operational interventions have been costed at a combined $2.4 billion dollars.

 
 

Stakeholders attending the workshop include technocrats from the EAC, COMESA, SADC and IGAD regional blocs, development partners, representatives of government ministries and agencies, representatives from the private sector including manufacturers, transporters, freight forwarders and shipping agents.

 
 

Notes to Editors

 
 

Efficient and well integrated transport infrastructure is crucial for unlocking economies of scale and sharpening competitiveness, particularly for the EAC where three out of five Partner States are landlocked as are the bloc’s trading partners South Sudan and Eastern Congo.

 
 

The Northern Corridor, anchored by the port of Mombasa in Kenya and the Central Corridor, anchored by the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania are principal and crucial transport routes for national, regional and international trade for the EAC

 
 

To devise ways of improving the efficiency of these corridors, the Corridor Diagnostic Study was launched. The CDS is a collaborative study bringing together the EAC, COMESA, SADC and IGAD Secretariats and financially supported by the USAID and DFID.

 
 

This Study aims at rationalising all the past and current initiatives on the improvement of the transportation efficiencies of the Northern and the Central Corridors and developing a time bound and prioritised strategy towards the realisation of the actions necessary to improve the efficiencies of these corridors.

 
 

Transport related costs of trade in Africa constitute a high percentage of export and import costs ranging between 30 and 40% higher than in other developing countries. Landlocked countries pay an even higher price in trade costs.

 
 

In 2008, the World Bank’s Development Research Group estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa could gain about US$ 20 billion per annum by improving trade-related infrastructure.

 
 

Improving Northern and Central Corridor efficiency and reliability requires the adoption of an integrated Action Plan to address infrastructure constraints and bottlenecks as well as operational inefficiencies, policies and procedures

 
 

Additional information is available at http://www.eastafricancorridors.org

 

SOURCE 

East African Community (EAC)


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