NEPAD Transport and Infrastructure Summit,copyright to Cape Media 2010
|Focus on infrastructure at NEPAD Summit|
|Wednesday, 30 September 2009 13:51|
The focus will be on infrastructure development -- maintenance and construction -- in a number of African countries when African decision-makers, private-sector executives and international experts meet in Johannesburg on 25-26 November at the inaugural NEPAD Transport Summit and Africa Expo to fast-track work on the continent's cross-border highways and streamline border formalities.
They will seek ways to prioritise, speed up and integrate the national action plans of African countries involving road, rail, air and ports -- and to increase awareness of the huge potential for cross-border trade.
One of the main objectives of the Summit -- the first of what is expected to be an annual event in Africa"s regional transport hubs -- is to promote regional integration across the continent through its transport networks.
The 53-nation African Union has identified the regional integration of national economies through NEPAD -- the New Partnership for Africa's Development -- as the answer to the continent's chronic poverty, hunger and lack of growth, with the key being swift, efficient and economic cross-border transport.
Commitments of support for the Summit objectives have already been received from Angola, Canada, the Netherlands and USAID, all of whom will be sending delegates.
The main focus of the discussions will be on Africa's key cross-border arteries and their importance in regional integration. These arteries include:
*The North-South corridor which links the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the Zambian Copperbelt and the DRC, then runs through Zimbabwe and Botswana to Durban, with other corridor links to Namibia and Mozambique. It also has connections to the Great Lakes in the north and Malawi in the east.
*NEPAD's East-West corridor concept, covering the entire West, Central and East African regions from Dakar in Senegal through Lagos in Nigeria and on to Kenya and the port of Mombasa.
The Summit will also hear about progress with the Yamoussoukro decision of 1998 to promote the liberalisation of air transport in Africa and NEPAD's role in this process.
Areas for broad-ranging discussion will be: cross-border formalities and red tape; new trade opportunities and markets; infrastructure construction and maintenance; and public-private partnerships, private sector finance and international aid.
In conjunction with the Summit, an international trade and investment exhibition will incorporate a Hall of Nations which will house the national pavilions of the countries along the corridors to showcase their products