Regional transport stakeholders from the EAC, COMESA, SADC and IGAD regional blocs, yesterday,
concluded a two-day forum aimed at promoting a broad ownership of the East Africa Corridor
Diagnostic Study (CDS) proposals.
The bodies bring together countries from eastern, central and southern Africa. They met in Tanzania.
According to a statement, the stakeholders provided their inputs on the proposed integrated
Action Plan for the development as well as improvement of the region’s Northern and Central corridors.
In an interview, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure,
Alloys Mutabingwa said that the high cost of transport is one of the major constraints to development.
“This is why development partners have partnered with the collaborating sub regions (EAC,
COMESA and SADC) to address the question of high costs of transport along various corridors,” he added.
The Northern Corridor, anchored by the port of Mombasa in Kenya, and the Central Corridor by
the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, are principal transport routes for national, regional
and international trade for the EAC sub region.
Mutabingwa cited the ongoing talks on the North-South Corridor that begins from Dar es Salaam
to the port of Durban, linking seven countries in the EAC, COMESA and SADC blocs as an example
of a promising regional response to the existing transportation challenges.
He stressed that the EAC is moving to reduce transaction costs at border posts, which studies
have shown contribute about 40 percent of the trade logistics costs by ensuring a single stop border post.
“The border posts at Malaba between Kenya and Uganda and at Nemba between Rwanda and Burundi
are set to benefit from the new concept,” he noted.
The CDS proposes various priority infrastructure projects that include enhancing handling
capacities of the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, the revival of railways infrastructure,
rehabilitation of lake ports and upgrading of Northern and Central corridor road infrastructure
in all five EAC Partner States up to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.