Roads crucial for economic development

13 March 2019 | Economics

SWAKOPMUND – Without well-developed and maintained roads, economic development and social transformation will not be fostered efficiently, the minister of works and transport, John Mutorwa, has said.

Mutorwa was speaking during the official opening of the Africa Road Maintenance Fund Association’s (ARMFA) annual general assembly and meeting held by the Road Fund Administration (RFA) here on Monday.

The assembly is held under the theme, “Sustainable Road Infrastructure: Impact on Regional Integration and Free Trade Africa”.

“Road infrastructure are growth enablers, practically enabling trade, integration and movement of people and goods. Functioning infrastructure such as roads, rails and ports and other basic systems that make the country run, is an absolute condition and pre-condition for development and economic growth,” Mutorwa said.

The minister expressed gratitude for the fact that the issue of infrastructure development is getting enough attention at continental, sub-regional economic grouping as well as the country level.

Challenges

According to chief executive officer of the RFA and vice president of ARMFA, Ali Ipinge, the meeting brings together key stakeholders, technocrats and policy makers in the road financing sector in Africa to deliberate on key issues affecting the roads in Africa.

Ipinge highlighted some of the key resolutions adopted during the 16th general meeting held in Ethiopia in 2018, among which was for the ARMFA to pursue and expedite the process of joining the African Union (AU) as a specialised agency and to push for the development of the Roads Management Policy at AU level.

“Today we are glad to say that good progress has been made in that regard and we look forward to further consultations with AU’s transport team during this week on the margins of our meetings,” Ipinge said.

Ipinge noted that although challenges of upkeep of the road assets on the continent as well as accessibility vary greatly among and between member countries, ARMFA remained weaved together by the strength of this uniqueness and the common interest of developing road networks and corridors that will improve free regional integration and trade.

This is the first time Namibia is hosting the event which is expected to end on Saturday. - Nampa

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