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Transport infrastructure now a clear priority

Transport infrastructure now a clear priority

By Adolf Kaure.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Transport, Hon John Mutorwa said that the government has taken significant steps to achieve accelerated transport infrastructure development and maintenance, through spectral policy, regulation and applicable laws.

He made these remarks during the opening of the 2024 Intermodal Africa Conference, which was attended by over 300 African delegates, at Swakopmund. The two-day event is a premier gathering of industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders in logistics.

According to Mutorwa, the government is working hard to ensure that its infrastructure is safeguarded and maintained for sustainable efficiency of the transportation and logistics sector.

“Logistics and transportation management are sine qua non for international trade and it is the Namibian Government’s determined view, to ensure these sectors are upheld for a seamless and sound transportation of goods, services and products for efficient trade facilitation across the country, SADC, AU and beyond.” he said.

Mutorwa also stated the government is reviewing laws to enhance the functioning of the transport sector to foster a safe, efficient and sustainable transportation network.

“Notably, the Vehicle Mass Law and the Roads Bill have been revised to address the critical issues such as overloading and road safety, ensuring that our roads and infrastructure are used responsibly to guarantee the safety of all road users. Overloading does not only threaten the lives of road users but also damages the roads. It has been proven that overloading, especially by trucks, may result the reduction of a roads’ lifespan from between five to 20 years,” he said.

“Namibia as a preferred cross-border route of transporters, spent billions on investments in its road infrastructure and with the proposed law, we want the overloading fines and penalty fees to be reinvested into road infrastructure maintenance,” said Mutorwa.

He said the development of the Walvis Bay Ndola Lubumbashi Economic Development Corridor holds immense potential for enhancing regional trade, integration and connectivity.

“This corridor, with its strategic location and vast economic opportunities, is poised to play a pivotal role in promoting intra-African trade and fostering economic development across the continent of Africa.”

“We are committed to furthering our collaboration, coordination and cooperation with our regional partners, to maximize the potential of this corridor and to ensure its positive impact, with regard to continental trade integration,” he stated.

Furthermore, Namibia has provided dry ports to neighbouring countries which include Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, to transform them from land-locked countries to sea-linked countries.

“This has increased activities, not only at our port of Walvis Bay, but also on Namibia’s road infrastructure, across the country. The dry ports were set up through the configuration framework of SADC to facilitate good trade relations, within the region and in the continent of Africa.”

“As a result of these dry ports, Namibian companies and business outfits in the transportation, logistics, storage and warehousing as well as in the oil service industries, heavily benefit.”

“In addition, these dry ports also enlist services of the Namibian Clearing Agencies and marketing and branding of cargos, to further strengthen economic ties between Namibia and her neighbouring countries,” Mutorwa stated.

Some of the topics covered at the 2024 Intermodal Africa Conference include trends in intermodal transportation, port development and infrastructure, supply chain optimization, digitization and technology innovations as well as complementary logistics practices.

Deputy Minister and Minister of Works and Transport, Hon John Mutorwa and the Erongo Governor, Hon Neville Andre listening to a company representative at the 2024 Intermodal Africa Conference’s exhibition tour. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)


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