Logistics holds multiple opportunities- Private sector must leverage transport infrastructure
The vision of developing Namibia into a regional transport turntable for SADC has led to significant investment in upgrading the Namibian transport infrastructure to meet international standards, according to the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon Alpheus !Naruseb.
“I believe determination and hard work will see our envisioned Logistics Nation become a reality,” he said at Walvis Bay Corridor Group’s 9th Logistics Hub Forum held at the Hilton Hotel in Windhoek recently.
“Although the road ahead is long and filled with many challenges, it holds multiple opportunities,” he added.
“The development of our ports and roadways is well underway, and as a result the attention of my ministry has now shifted to our rail system, because without a well functioning rail system, Namibia will find it difficult to realize its goal,” Hon !Naruseb said.
According to the minister, Namibia has a high potential to be integrated into international logistics because of its swift and safe logistics routes that connects the world with the southern African region, especially its landlocked neighbours. Its favourable business environment, custom clearance with shorter duration, a lower risk of fraud, together with a modern financial sector, are essential for international logistics. These factors have allowed Namibia to have an international competitive edge to develop its logistics sector, according to the Walvis Bay Corridor Group.
At this session, Mr Frans Uusiku, an economist at Simonis Storm Securities, presented the Logistics Hub as a quantified notion, calculating the traffic per corridor, cargo traffic per trading partner and traffic per trading partner.
“Transcribing the data numerically presents the significant scope to invest in infrastructure development to facilitate trade in a new manner” he said explaining that the developments within the logistics and transport sector will still be vigorous in the following decades as there is a heavy dependency on road transport. The traffic per trading partner has seen Zambia emerge as the leading trading partner as far as traffic on the road is concerned.
The Logistics Hub initiative has built a leeway for Namibia to further develop itself and to change the dynamics to benefit the region’s economy and that of Africa as a whole. To date, significant progress has been made in the effort to position Namibia as the number one Logistics Hub in SADC. “It is up to the private sector to take up the opportunities that this initiative is creating.”