Uganda studies Namibia’s road funding

07 February 2020 | Economics

Uganda has chosen Namibia as a benchmark for the country’s roads infrastructure funding.

A delegation of 14 members from Uganda this week met with Namibia’s finance minister, Calle Schlettwein. The team comprises of Uganda’s minister of state for general duties in the ministry of finance, planning and economic development, Gabriel Ajedra Aridru, as well as members of the parliamentary sectoral committee on physical infrastructure and the chief executive of the Ugandan Road Fund.

The delegation, hosted by the Road Fund Administration (RFA) in Namibia, spent two days in the country to learn about road infrastructure setup, maintenance and regulations policies.

Aridru commended Namibia’s road infrastructure, saying the country has done well in maintaining its roads, something which is lacking in Uganda.

“We chose Namibia to benchmark, as the country’s roads are not only commendable regionally but on the international level as well. As we are busy setting up our third national development plan, this visit will help us set up policy frameworks that will help us to build and maintain our road infrastructure,” he told Schlettwein.

Doing more with less

According to Aridru, the road sector in Uganda takes up 25% to 30% of the national budget equivalent to N$6 billion per year compared to Namibia’s N$2.7 billion.

“We would like to learn how Namibia is able to maintain its roads with the money allocated to them, which is less than our allocation,” he said.

Schlettwein said Namibia is able to maintain its road network with the help of consumption tax, which allows every vehicle owner to contribute to the road infrastructure through the fuel levy.

According to the RFA corporate services manager, Scheifert Shigwedha, the fund collects N$2.5 billion per year collectively from road user charges and fuel levies.

Namibia has incorporated economic integration by focusing on regional leading roads, railways and harbour ports, Schlettwein said.

“Africa has the capacity to develop itself through benchmarks such as this, therefore Namibia is honoured to be an exemplar on road infrastructure to many African countries,” he said. - Nampa

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