Mutorwa highlights importance of WBCG

07 June 2019 | Transport

Works and transport minister John Mutorwa has highlighted the significant role that the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) plays in promoting Namibia as a gateway for cargo moving into and from the region.

Mutorwa made these remarks when he visited the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) in Windhoek this week to better acquaint himself with the company's activities.

He met with the board of directors, acting CEO Clive Smith and his management team and was briefed on the configuration of WBCG and given an update on the various projects the company manages.

According to a press release issued by the company, Smith highlighted WBCG's endeavours to consolidate the activities of the Namibia transport sector towards the successful implementation of the Namibia logistics hub project. “This is evident in our structure, our members fall within both public and private sectors and this unique public and private partnership (PPP) format allows for effective facilitation on matters of trade and infrastructure development.”

Mutorwa said the government stands behind WBCG's quest to develop the country into a leading logistics hub in southern Africa.

“My visit here today reaffirms my ministry's support of WBCG's activities,” he said. The Walvis Bay Corridor Group engages the government on matters relating to policies, regulations and infrastructure development while its engagement with the private sector focuses on business development and supply chain solutions.

According to the statement the company has been instrumental in enhancing regional and continental trade with a clear focus on positioning the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz as real alternative trade routes to and from landlocked SADC countries. This is evident in that the efforts of the WBCG resulted in about 730 000 tonnes of transit cargo moving through the port of Walvis Bay in 2018, which equates to an increase of 48% compared to 2017.

This translates into about N$ 2.6 billion that the activities on the corridors contributed to the Namibian economy, the company said.

The meeting also touched on matters of transport legislation, regional corridor cooperation, industry capacity building programmes, the Namibia National Single Window Project and WBCG's role in the African Corridor Management Alliance (ACMA).

Concluding the meeting Mutorwa said the meeting was a vital process in contextualising WBCG's work.

“It is important that we understand what is happening in our corridors and its impact on the country and the region. This visit has greatly enlightened me on these processes and justifies the president's slogan of holding hands and moving in one direction. It is thus my sincere wish for the WBCG to remain steadfast in pursuing their mandate and to enhance their contribution towards the Namibian House.”

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group, a public-private partnership, is responsible for promoting the utilisation of the Walvis Bay Corridors - a network of transport routes linking the Port of Walvis Bay to the neighbouring SADC countries of South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi. The Walvis Bay Corridors consist of the Trans Kalahari Corridor, connecting Botswana and South Africa; the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor connecting Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Trans-Cunene Corridor connecting Angola; and the Trans-Oranje Corridor, connecting South Africa through the Port of Lüderitz.

ELLANIE SMIT

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