The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an agency of the African Union that implements high-impact development projects in Africa, has launched MoveAfrica initiative to tackle policy hurdles hampering trade in Africa.
The initiative was launched today on the sidelines of the on-going World Economic Forum for Africa in Kigali with officials at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency), describing it as a programme that will support the transformation of Africa’s trade by addressing soft issues related to cross-border transport and logistics challenges on the continent.
It will focus on driving down costs and increasing efficiency for logistics companies and manufacturers in varied industries operating in Africa.
“We cannot hope for the industrialisation of our continent without functional transport infrastructure. This requires not only a quantitative improvement of our infrastructure, but also a radical simplification and harmonisation of regulatory conditions and procedures of business on the continent, what I would call the soft infrastructure,” said Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD, while launching the programme.
He said it was staggering that an African businessperson cannot move freely across the continent, pitching One-stop border posts as crucial for the facilitation of movement inside Africa.
Among the targeted soft infrastructure issues to be addressed by MoveAfrica are the laws governing cross-border transport, the regulations for crossing the border such as customs clearance and quarantine, as well as the systems and organisational resources for the operation and maintenance of hard infrastructure such as roads and ports.