Africa > Africa Progress Of Transport Sector

Africa: Africa Progress Of Transport Sector





Africa Progress Of Transport Sector

Significant transport infrastructure development and services, including roads, railways, airports and seaports has taken place.  To support efforts by individual countries, sub-regional, regional and international organizations, ministerial conferences and heads of state summits adopted decisions and resolutions with the view to accelerating the development of the transport system.

In road sub-sector, in addition to their efforts in increasing the road network, many African countries have established road funds and road agencies with the aims of providing a predictable and sustainable funding for road maintenance. By 2007, twenty seven countries put in place road funds.

African countries also adopted road transport development plans some embarked in the initiative of integrating transport strategies with the poverty reduction goals; in 2007, eighteen countries completed their Poverty Reduction and Transport Strategy Review (PRTSR).

At the political level, the first AU Conference of Ministers in Charge of road transport, was held in Durban (South Africa) in October 2007 and adopted a resolution and an action plan aiming at fostering the road transport development.  With regard to railways, efforts at developing and harmonizing policies at the regional level have been made in recent years. One example is the Brazzaville Declaration and Plan of Action on African Railways adopted by the first conference of Africa’s Ministers responsible for railway transport system, held in Brazzaville during April 13-14, 2006. At the conference, issues related to developing an effective railway system that will promote Africa’s Development and Integration were discussed.

As a follow up to the Brazzaville Declaration and Plan of Action, a conference was organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the Department of Transport of the Republic of South Africa for railway professionals to look into issues such as interconnection and interoperability of Africa’s railway networks. The conference of the railway professionals held in Johannesburg in November 2007 also discussed and made recommendations on harmonization of standards for infrastructure, equipment, practices and procedures.  As part of the mandates assigned to RECs regarding the implementation of the Plan of Action, the COMESA Authority agreed at its Twelfth Summit, held in Nairobi, on May 22 & 23, 2007 to develop a Model Agreement for Railways Concessioning within the COMESA region.

African railway enterprises have undergone some reforms aimed at bringing about competition, efficiency and financial viability. The reforms have even created an enabling environment for the private sector to enter into the railway transport market. Management contract of publicly owned railway enterprises has been a major form of private sector participation in the sub sector.

In line with this, a number of African countries have introduced a wide range of reforms aimed at stemming the declining performance of their railways and improving efficiency and safety.  Since 1993, fourteen railway concessions, costing US$0.4 billion to private investors have been registered. The AICD study reported that frequent renegotiations, low traffic and costly public service obligations (PSO) have kept private investment in the railways below expectations.

In an effort to address the challenges facing Africa’s maritime transport, the first AU Conference of Ministers responsible for maritime transport held its Meeting in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, during February 22-23, 2007 on the theme “The role of maritime transport in the development of Africa.” At the end of the meeting, the Abuja Declaration and Plan of Action on Maritime Transport of Africa was adopted.

In the inland water transport, the following actions in relation to the management and development of inland waterways have been taken at regional and bilateral levels.

  • (i) The establishment of the International Commission of the Congo-Ubangi-Sangha basin (CICOS) with the objective of improving safety of the waterways has been established.
  • (ii) The improvement of the navigability of the Niger by building additional ports and facilities for handling cargo along the most navigable section of about 1,000 km.
  • (iii) Joint formulation and implementation of a frame work in respect of development of a ten-year program (2004-2013) for Lake Victoria has been drafted with the aim of providing a sustainable regional marine based safety support for all projects and programs under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC).
  • (iv) Establishment of the Permanent Committee of National Transport Administrators, Comité Permanent des Responsibles Nationaux du Transport Lacustre (COPTRALAC) under the auspices of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes countries (CEPGL) and the Permanent Technical Committee (CTC) responsible for navigation on lake Tanganyika in regard to the implementation of inland water transport cooperation operations in the south corridor project of COMESA.

In air transport, infrastructure have been improved in some countries, institutional reforms are undergoing with the separation of responsibilities for the development and management airport infrastructure and the regulatory function.

With regard to the liberalization of the access to air transport market in Africa, some efforts have been made by African countries to implement the Yamoussoukro Decision.

To give a renewed impetus to the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, African Ministers Responsible for Air Transport have held three meetings since the beginning of 2005: the first in Sun City, South Africa, in 2005, the second in Libreville, Gabon in 2006 and the third one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2007. The following decisions were made in their last meeting in Addis Ababa.
In the 3rd meeting, the ministers decided among other things to create the Executing agency of the Yamoussoukro Decision and to entrust it to AFCAC. To that end, the AU commission should work out modalities for accomplishing the undertaking.
The most recent addition to the efforts towards the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on the liberalization of access to the air transport markets in Africa is the decision made by Central and Western African Ministers responsible for aviation. During their meeting held in Accra, Ghana on November 7, 2008, the Ministers agreed to accelerate the liberalization of the markets in the two sub-regions.

Transport and trade facilitation

A multitude of international agreements and protocols aimed at simplifying and harmonizing trade and transport between states have been signed in Africa. In addition to these, numerous bilateral agreements on international road transport have been signed by several Africa countries.

In Central Africa, for example, several conventions governing international transport have been signed including:

  • (i) the inter-state convention for the transportation of miscellaneous goods by road;
  • (ii) the inter-state convention for multi-modal transport;
  • (iii) the regulation of transport of dangerous goods and the Inter-State Transit Agreement for Central African countries.

CEMAC countries have:

  • (i) adopted a community highway code and a civil aviation code;
  • (ii) created an international commission for the Congo, Oubagui and Sangha Basin;
  • (iii) signed a protocol on maritime cooperation as well as an agreement on air transport between member states. An agreement on transport master plan, including transport facilitation was also adopted.

The CEMAC Trade Corridor Project approved by member States in 2006, aims at facilitating efficient regional trade among member states and improved access to world trade. Financing for the three-country (Chad, the Central African Republic and Cameron) corridor project being undertaken by CEMAC has been secured from the World Bank (USD201 million), AfDB (USD67 million grant), both signed in 2007. There was also plan for USD76 million loan agreement between AfDB and CAR.

To facilitate interstate freight traffic, ECOWAS and UEMOA are working towards the full implementation of the two conventions adopted in 1982: the Inter-state Transport convention (TIE) and the Inter-state Road Freight Transit convention (TRIE). The conventions, which have already taken effect, provide the guideline to be followed with regard to road transport services and allow uninterrupted transit across country boundaries.

Similarly, efforts are been made to improve the implementation of the common vehicle insurance scheme known as the Brown Card. The scheme covers third-party liability and medical expenses, the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) as an e-commerce approach towards overcoming delays in reporting of traffic movements and location. Presently, ECOWAS and UEMOA are working on the establishment of joint border posts, which, among other things, would accelerate the traffic and address issues of variations in working hours at adjacent border posts. They are also in the process of establishing corridor management committees and observatories for monitoring abnormal practices along major transit transport corridors.

As part of the transport facilitation effort, an initiative aimed at improving road transport governance has been launched in West Africa. A major component of the initiative is the preparation and dissemination of a quarterly report on road corruption along three (Tema - Ouagadougou, Ouagadougou - Bamako and Lomé - Ouagadougou) primary trade corridors. The report is expected to help fight road corruption by providing timely information to decision makers and other stakeholders.  In Southern Africa efforts to improve trade facilitation include the launching of the Regional Trade Facilitation Program (RTFP), a key component of which is the One Stop Border Post (OSBP). The OSBP involves measures including harmonization of customs clearance procedures at border crossing points. A pilot OSBP has been put in place at Chirundu border post (between Zambia and Zimbabwe), with others to follow. Similarly, in Eastern Africa, an OSBP aimed at improving the efficiency of rail traffic between Kenya and Uganda has been established at Malaba1.

In the Eastern and Southern Africa sub-region, COMESA and SADC have adopted a number of protocols related to transport facilitation. They have also adopted measures for facilitating transport and transit between their member states. At its Twelfth Summit, held in Nairobi, on May 22 and 23, 2007, the COMESA Authority urged COMESA member states to implement the trade and transit facilitation instruments approved at earlier Summits.

At bilateral level, agreements have been signed between countries to promote transport facilitation. Uganda and Rwanda, for example, recently agreed to extend their working hours at their border post to 22.00hours. A recent conference in Kampala, Uganda, with the theme ‘Seamless Transport Services’ focused on the reduction of NTBs between the port of Mombasa and the landlocked neighboring countries. Following the recommendation of the Workshop, the Kenyan Government decided to change the daily working hours at the Port of Mombasa to 24 hours.  In an effort to further reduce NTBs the Kenyan government has decided to open border posts to neighboring landlocked countries, 24 hours every day, which is an enormous improvement from the existing practice of an eight-hour working day. There are also plans to bring down the number of road blocks between Kenya and Uganda on its Northern Corridor (which comprises a rail and road network that links Kenya to the Great Lakes countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Uganda) from the current 47 to 17.

In a similar move aimed at improving transport and trade facilitation, a corridor management mechanism of the Central Corridor linking the great lake countries to the port of Dar es Salaam was put in place in 2005. During the same period, preparations were underway to establish corridor management groups for the North-South Corridor, linking DR Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi.

ICA Annual Report, 2007

and Botswana to Durban port as well as the Bamako-Ouagadougou-Tema and Niamey- Ouagadougou-Lomé Corridors.

Following the implementation of the corridor management initiative important results have been achieved. The journey time from Mombasa to Kampala, for example, fell from 10 to 6 days.  In 2003 the Almaty Program of Action addressing the Special Needs of Landlocked Developing Countries within a New Global Framework for Transit Transport Cooperation for Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries was launched by the UN General Assembly. As a follow-up to this international initiative, African Governments have developed the African Program of Action focusing on the development of major transit corridors that were selected at a preparatory meeting on the Almaty Program of Action (APoA) in 2003 in Addis Ababa. An African review meeting was held from 17-20 June 2008 to assess progress made in establishing efficient transit transport systems on the continent, and to agree on what needs to be done to further galvanize global partnerships to assist African landlocked and transit developing countries to effectively implement the APoA.

Transport safety and security

Having recognized the significant health hazard and economic cost of poor road safety, African governments are working with ECA, SSATP, WHO and NGOs to formulate transport policies that will improve road safety.

In an effort to bring together stakeholders at the regional level, the African Road Safety Conference, which drew more than 250 delegates was held in Accra, Ghana from 5 – 8 February 2007. The Conference was jointly organized by the Government of Ghana, the World Health Organization and the UN Economic Commission for Africa to review the progress made by African countries in improving road safety and the development of national action plans.

At the end of the Conference, the Accra Declaration of African Ministers responsible for transport and health was issued which called upon developed countries to recognize the urgent need to improve road safety in Africa, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and systematically include road safety in the transport development programme and strategies.

The Declaration also highlighted the commitments of the African governments represented at the Conference, inter alia, to work together to stop the growing epidemic of deaths and injuries on African roads (targeting to reduce road traffic fatalities by half by 2015); set and achieve measurable national targets for road safety; mainstream road safety into new and existing road infrastructure development programs; improve the collection, management and use of data on road deaths and injuries so as to formulate evidence-based policies; and to ensure the enactment and enforcement of laws associated with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, inappropriate and excessive speeding, non-use of helmets, driver licensing, roadworthy vehicles, and the use of mobile phones while driving.

Recently, ECA, in collaboration with FIA Foundation, organized 8-10 July in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, an African Road Safety Seminar whose objective was to assist African countries to develop regional and national road traffic casualty reduction targets and provide them with examples of good road safety practices in setting up and monitoring these targets.

As part of the support being given by Africa’s development partners to address the critical issue of road safety, the Global Road Safety Facility has been created by the World Bank with initial contribution of USD5 million from the Bank and Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Foundation.

In the water transport sub-sector, a number of measures have been taken in the past few years to address the important issues of safety and security. With regard to inland water transport, the IMO has developed model safety regulations for inland waterway vessels and non-conventional craft, including fishing vessels operating in Africa.

To combat the increasing threat of maritime piracy in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, many governments in cooperation with the IMO are taking steps. The UN Security Council has authorized naval powers of the world to conduct patrols off Somalia. Since then warships including those from NATO, EU members, Russia and India have been patrolling the sea off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

A code of conduct aimed at combating acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships was adopted following a high-level meeting held in Djibouti on 26 January 2009 under the auspices of the IMO and attended by representatives of 17 states from across the western Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

With regard to air transport safety, the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) initiated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been serving as the basis for safety standards in the air transport industry for several years. To enhance air transport safety, the ICAO has also embarked on a project referred to as the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). The lessons learned from the ICAO safety audits have led to the commitment by the Directors of Civil Aviation to implement an action plan aimed at strengthening their capabilities with respect to safety oversight, particularly with regard to the areas of licensing, airworthiness and the operation of aircraft. Its worth mentioning the implementation of the Cooperative Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Development Programs – COSCAP

In West Africa, the COSCAP Projects include:

  • Conducting inspections and airline audits at the request of States
  • Undertaking mock audits of CAAs at the request of States
  • Harmonization of regulations and procedures through safety working groups comprising representatives of participating States and project personnel
  • Training of regional and national inspectors in the application of the harmonized regulations and procedures
  • Provision of a wide range of supplemental technical assistance by industry.
  • With the favorable response to the COSCAP Program in the West and Central African sub-region, the concept was subsequently extended to the Eastern and Southern African sub-region.

At the continental level: the initiative referred to as ‘Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa' (PIDA) is currently at its initial stage. In addition to its lead role, the AUC is mandated to develop regional sector policies and master plans based on the regional policies and master plans developed by the RECs, which are in turn designated as the pillars of the initiative.

A coordination mechanism has also been established, whereby the AUC, the African Development Bank and the NEPAD Secretariat on the one hand and the different African stakeholders, on the other, can engage in consultation among themselves. The mechanism is also expected to serve as an instrument of dialogue and interaction with Africa’s development partners.

The PIDA, whose major objectives are establishment of a strategic framework for the development of sub-regional and regional infrastructure and an infrastructure investment program as well as the preparation of an implementation strategy, is expected to address issues including, the continent’s deficiency in information, need for the prioritization of development needs and the poor implementation of initiatives and programmes observed in the past.

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