Guest Contributor | Oct 27, 2023 | 0
Transport register and trip monitoring essential for smoothing cross-border trade
Namibia recently hosted the launch of the Transport Register and Information Platform System (TRIPS) and the Corridor Trip Monitoring System (CTMS) in Windhoek on behalf of the Tripartite Regional Economic Communities made up of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to facilitate intra-regional trade and cross-border transport and transit.
TRIPS is an ICT gateway or switch that interconnects National Transport Information Systems to improve information-sharing and authentication of transit documents, licenses, permits and vehicle and driver particulars between and amongst the 25 participating Member States’ regulatory and law enforcement agents within the Tripartite Region.
The launch event was attended by a host of guests including Veikko Nekundi, the Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Chileshe Kapwepwe, Chair of the Tripartite Task Force and Secretary General of COMESA, Ms Gosia Lachut, EU Deputy Ambassador to Namibia, and Mr Conrad Lutombi, Chief Executive of the Roads Authority.
The event held on Tuesday took stock of activities, challenges, and achievements of the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP). As a result, the programmes are funded by the EU to the tune of €18 million, with support from the German Development Cooperation.
“The overall objective of the TTTFP is to facilitate the development of a more competitive, integrated, and liberalized regional road transport market in the Tripartite Region to support the implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement,” according to a joint statement from the government, EU, COMESA, and SADC.
The event also included a demonstration of the systems, followed by a walking tour of the Armada Hosting Centre and the TRIPS & CTMS hosting equipment. Namibia submitted an offer to host the TRIPS on 18 September 2019 in response to the bid invitation by the SADC.
Speaking at the launch, the representative of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Danièle Stübi said: “The GIZ CESARE programme was able to secure special cash funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The contribution of the German Government of approximately 500,000 EUR coupled with advisory services has enabled the timely piloting of the CTMS. With the support, we were able to equip the border posts because we believe the system does not only help truck drivers but also border personnel and ultimately customers awaiting their goods.”
Speaking at the same event, EU Deputy Head of Mission to Namibia Ms Lachut congratulated the TTTFP on its development of TRIPS and CTMS, commending its successful piloting in four Tripartite Member States, namely Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
According to her, Malawi and Mozambique are next to join the pilot as they are currently installing the systems.
Stübi said CTMS was initially developed for safe transport and trade facilitation during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It will become an essential tool to improve the efficiency of transport corridors in Africa when integrated with other systems deployed at border posts such as Customs and Immigration Systems,” she stated.
This was followed by a speech from the Chief Executive of the Paratus Group, Schalk Erasmus, who expressed that Paratus sees its vision mirrored in the aforementioned objective.
Erasmus ensured that Paratus would continue to expand its infrastructure, as already done with their three, Tier-3 by design, ISO and PCI-DSS certified, state-of-the-art Data Centers in Angola, Zambia, and our most recent one in Namibia.
“We are currently building a new Satellite Teleport in South Africa and a Low Orbit Ground Station in Angola,” he revealed, adding that they are also transitioning themselves into a complete Digital Service Provider, offering not just telecommunication services but all sorts of connectivity, cloud, big data, and even Artificial Intelligence that forms part of the new 4th Industrial Revolution.