ECA Press Release 153/2012
Addis Ababa, 24 September 2012 (ECA) - In a bid to address challenges associated with the high costs associated with the transportation of goods within the continent’s transport corridors, an Africa Corridor Management Alliance (ACMA) was launched on Monday, at the ongoing Africa Trade Forum (ATF). The Alliance was initiated by the Africa Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), which is housed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The need for an Alliance is bolstered by a growing call for practical measures to address the barriers to boosting intra-African trade. According to Stephen Karingi Director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division, ECA, these include roadblocks, unofficial fees, harassment and corruption along trade and transit corridors and at border crossings.
“We also note different rules concerning axle load limits, different vehicles standards and inspection requirements, high transport costs, driven by cumbersome administrative procedures and delays in clearance of goods at the ports,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Mr. Johny Smith Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia-based Walvis Bay Corridor Group said that the development and modernization of transport infrastructure, as well as the removal of non-tariff barriers along all corridors of Africa is critical for trade expansion and regional integration. “The Alliance will play a critical role in enhancing trade facilitation measures along these corridors,” he added.
He said that the development and management of transport corridors is an integral and critical part of trade facilitation strategies and reforms and as such, the goal of a corridor is to promote internal and external trade by focusing on efficient transport and logistics services.
“We do this through the implementation of strategies and interventions that reduce transit times and cost of shipping goods along the corridor; and that improve the quality of services and infrastructure along the corridor,” said Mr. Smith.
The Alliance therefore aims to increase collaboration and share information; exchange and promote best practices and build capacity among its members. It will also contribute to policy formulation and opportunities and respond to the financial and technical needs of corridor institutions.
“The Alliance will focus on making sure that what we implement, we must also monitor and evaluate,” said Mr. Smith.
He told the Forum that a governing board has been set up to drive the work of the Alliance.
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