Ministers in charge of transport in the region have reiterated the need for rehabilitating and upgrading the railways infrastructure, noting that this will significantly reduce East Africa’s high costs of transport.
The officials sounded the call during the 7th Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) held recently in Arusha, Tanzania.
Infrastructure Minister Vincent Karega who chaired the meeting, told The New Times yesterday that although they observed that progress had been registered, there are still challenges that need urgent attention.
“We agreed that there is progress made and that there is a common plan to address pending challenges,” he said.
In a statement, the Ministers underscored the need to expedite the preparation of the legal framework on One Stop Border Posts with a view of presenting a bill to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) by August this year.
The Ministers directed the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat to develop a Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) legal and regulatory framework to support railways development in the region.
While underscoring that there is political will and commitment on the part of partner states to address the challenges facing infrastructure in the region, Karega said that the secretariat had been given a deadline of up to June this year to have developed the PPPs regulatory framework.
On the maritime transport sub-sector, the Ministers noted the serious economic and transportation impacts caused by the piracy off the Somali coast.