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NEPAD Transport and Infrastructure Summit,copyright to Cape Media 2010

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Monday, 29 June 2009 13:31
NEPAD TRANSPORT SUMMIT – 25th to 26th November 2009

MAJOR OUTCOMES

Over 650 delegates attended the Summit during the two days and over a hundred exhibitors participated.

The countries represented at the summit were Angola; Botswana; Burundi; Cameroon; Chad; DRC; Ethiopia; Egypt; Ghana; Gambia; Gabon; Ivory Coast; Kenya; Libya; Malawi; Mauritius; Mozambique Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Tunisia; Zambia; Zimbabwe as well as representatives from France, Brussels, Japan, India and Russia

The following organizations were represented at the Summit: European Union; World Bank; Africa Development Bank (AfDB); JICA; Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative; Walvis Bay Corridor Group; COMESA; EAC; ECCAS, ECOWAS; CEN-SAD; Transit Transport Coordination Authority of the Northern Corridor; Development Bank of Southern Africa, African Civil Aviation Commission; Central Development Corridor SDI; National Agency of the Maritime Affairs of SENEGAL; International Airport Accra - GHANA, SADC; South African Maritime Safety Authority, USAID;
Day one:

The economic, regulatory and institutional restraints and challenges to regional integration through transport and infrastructure development were outlined.  Key issues for infrastructure development included disparity between regulatory environments and the phenomenon of “paralysis through analysis”. The transport and trade opportunities provided by the North-South corridor, focusing on the concept of a transport corridor becoming a development corridor, with transport enabling development opportunities through spatial development initiatives in a positive feedback cycle was discussed.

The NEPAD East West Corridor (NEWCOR) concept, dwelling on the unacceptability of current constraints around regulation and infrastructure shortfalls and the benefits of their removal, was introduced as a transport infrastructure alternative to the existing Trans Africa Highway. This project concept was developed by the NEPAD Transport Unit.

The future of air transport in Africa and what is necessary for the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) was also discussed. NEPAD proposed a practical approach to implementation of the YD, by allowing states that are ready and willing to implement the decision to do so, using the NEPAD APRM concept.  The need for regionalization of airports, air navigational services and civil aviation authorities, and for airlines to merge and cooperate was also emphasized.

One of the starting points for economic integration is that port authorities can make or break a transport network through efficiency or inefficiency. The tremendous restraints represented by cross border formalities and red tape were discussed. Common approach to regulations, weighbridges and one stop border posts were presented as examples of a way forward to address these restraints.
Day two:

The European Union’s role in promoting African economic integration, making the point that the EU and NEPAD have a shared vision, and that the EU also follows NEPAD’s lead in funding matters was highlighted.

Funding mechanism used, as well as identifying project preparation funding is vital for a successful project implementation.

The East Africa Cross Border Transport Corridor Improvement study identified the time spent waiting in ports, and delays within rail networks as chronic performance inhibitors within Africa’s transport logistics.

The observation that the greatest challenges to transport solutions in Africa are precisely the factors that African countries have most control over was noted.

The Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative was identified as a good example of regional integration.  The importance of securing political commitment and ensuring alignment with regional priorities was listed as a critical factor for operating a successful Private Public Partnership that supports regional cooperation and integration. The South African Department of Transport gave insight into the South African perspective on implementing the government’s freight logistics, highlighting the DoT’s mandate in stimulating dialogue with all role players.

The importance of road, rail and port logistics in Africa was highlighted, showing that the transport component of logistics cost is unacceptably high on the continent and exerts enormous drag on economic development. The plenary session closed with an enlightening panel discussion in which the South African Department of Transport explained that the government’s letter of intent to lower the axle load on secondary roads is part of a process intended to address unsustainable road usage without imposing a unilateral command.

The key issue highlighted during the Summit was the breaking of frontiers and the importance of uniformity in transport infrastructure development. The use of multi-modal transport infrastructure planning to ensure that transport modes compliment each other instead of competing.

A fully comprehensive report will be made to all our delegates as a blueprint for the way forward by the end of January 2010.
 

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