WBCG grows regional economies

Regional trade routes are expanding with significant investment in transport corridors.

20 November 2019 | History

CATHERINE SASMAN

Since the establishment of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) 19 years ago, trade volumes from neighbouring countries have grown from zero to more than 750 000 tonnes per year.

This represents direct revenue of about N$500 million per year for ports, railways and the road transport sector as a direct result of the development of transport corridors.

The WBCG was created in the year 2000 to promote imports and exports through the Port of Walvis Bay. This was part of the Namibian government’s plan to turn Namibia into a logistics hub for the SADC region by capitalising on the country’s strategic location.

Since then, significant investment has gone into the upgrading of transport infrastructure.

“As we are about to conclude the second decade of facilitating and promoting transport and trade along our secure and reliable corridors, our quest to ultimately achieve a robust and lucrative economy continues,” says the project manager of WBCG’s logistics hub, Clive Smith.

Before the WBCG was formed, all trade was routed via South Africa.

“There were no other connections to our neighbouring countries in terms of efficient flow of trade across borders. Our neighbours’ knowledge about Namibia was limited and so was Namibia’s knowledge about trading opportunities in southern Africa,” Smith says.

Obvious opportunities

The Port of Walvis Bay is strategically located on the west coast of Africa and can serve as a strategic link to southern Africa with its more than 350 million consumers.

Smith says with Walvis Bay now firmly established as one of the major entry and exit points to and from southern Africa, the WBCG continuously seeks ways to take the corridors to greater heights and maximise the social and economic benefits for Namibia and the region.

“The WBCG has become one of the key organisations in the Namibian economy, driving the agenda of the transport sector and expanding the role of the transport sector to the Namibian economy and its people. The success and experiences have been shared with other corridors and similar organisations at various platforms, which in turn could enhance corridor development on the African continent,” Smith says.

The beginnings

The WBCG is a public-private partnership to promote maximum utilisation of the Walvis Bay transport corridors, which include the Port of Walvis Bay, the Trans-Kalahari Corridor, the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor, the Trans-Kunene Corridor and the Trans-Orange Corridor.

The Trans-Kalahari Corridor Secretariat consists of government and private representatives from Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

The Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor Management Committee is a partnership between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia and Zambia.

In Namibia, individual membership by transport and logistics companies from the private sector is arranged under the umbrella of private-sector organisations, namely the Namibia Logistics Association (NLA) and the Walvis Bay Port Users Association (WBPUA).

Smith encourages private companies who are interested in becoming members of the WBCG to join one of these associations.

When it started out, the WBCG focused on marketing and promotion, but later engaged in securing cargo to and from other southern African countries.

With this, it started identifying corridor constraints hindering the efficient movement of traffic and the implementation of agreed measures to address these.

As a result, the Corridor Management Institution (CMI) was formed to promote and coordinate efficient corridor solutions and the funding needed to start various projects.

The WBCG then expanded its sphere of operation to project management. Projects managed include the wellness of truckers and communities along the route, and the development of a service industry along the corridors.

Because the WBCG deals with transit corridors, it advocated for the establishment of transit-boundary Corridor Management Secretariats whose core function is to regulate and oversee the development and implementation of seamless cross-border trade, transport and passenger facilitation measures.

The ultimate goal of the secretariats is to reduce transport costs and transit times along the regional and continental transport corridors.

The first successful secretariat established was the Trans-Kalahari Corridor Secretariat (TKCS) in 2007.

The WBCG is now working on the establishment of similar secretariats for the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC) and the African Corridor Management Alliance (ACMA).

The WBCG has similarly advocated for the Namibia Logistic Hub Initiative to be prioritised as a national development goal, hence its inclusion in the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4).

This project is managed by the WBCG and driven by private and public stakeholders with the support of regional, continental and international bodies.

Significant growth

The corridors have over the years grown significantly, not only in terms of volume, but also in terms of reduced transit times, removal of bottlenecks and improved corridor logistics through the PPPs, which Smith said remain the cornerstone of the WBCG.

“We have to continuously identify opportunities and plan, coordinate, market and advocate infrastructure development and trade facilitation. It is therefore apparent that this unique institutional arrangement as a PPP is a perfect example of how government and the private sector work together to improve relationships so that we can integrate business potential and utilise transport and trade opportunities to create wealth in the region and beyond,” Smith says.

Similar News

 

Czech book details Swapo's struggles abroad

6 months ago - 19 April 2021 | History

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKA representative of the group Their Blood Waters Our Freedom, Borro Ndungula, alleges that Namibian children were sent to the former Czechoslovakia from refugee...

Reflecting on our historical past

7 months ago - 24 March 2021 | History

MICHAEL KAYUNDEWINDHOEKReleased in 2007, 'Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation' illustrates Namibia's struggle against South African occupation.Film producer Gideon Kamati from the Namibia Film Commission (NFC)...

Communication failure threatens rock art

8 months ago - 18 February 2021 | History

JANA-MARI SMITHThe environment ministry denies any knowledge of a resolution to withdraw the environmental clearance certificates (ECCs) issued to mining companies accused of the annihilation...

Communication failure threatens rock art

8 months ago - 17 February 2021 | History

JANA-MARI SMITHThe environment ministry denies any knowledge of a resolution to withdraw the environmental clearance certificates (ECCs) issued to mining companies accused of the annihilation...

Prehistoric rock art rescued

8 months ago - 15 February 2021 | History

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKOtjohorongo community activists and a Namibian farmer have chalked up a hard-fought victory against mining companies in the Erongo Region after authorities resolved to...

Govt under fire for 'liberation struggle favouritism'

1 year - 29 July 2020 | History

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA report by the parliamentary standing committee on constitutional and legal affairs has revealed that some communities feel government only commemorates events related to...

April 1 no fool’s day for Swapo

1 year - 01 April 2020 | History

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe former chief of staff of Swapo’s armed wing PLAN, Charles Namoloh, says it is time the nation recognised the historical importance of 1...

Heritage sites closed

1 year - 19 March 2020 | History

ELLANIE SMIT All heritage sites in Namibia are closed until further notice.This follows a directive by the education, arts and culture...

WBCG grows regional economies

1 year - 20 November 2019 | History

CATHERINE SASMANSince the establishment of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) 19 years ago, trade volumes from neighbouring countries have grown from zero to more...

SADC’s pride

1 year - 19 November 2019 | History

LEANDREA LOUW Namibia has now joined countries such as Australia, Brazil, Dubai and the Netherlands in the utilisation of reclaimed land for port expansion.The...

Latest News

Best deals to finance vehicles

9 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUNew vehicle sales in Namibia hit a record low due to consumers not being able to afford new vehicles and corporates not replacing their...

NUNW takes on Namcor over...

9 hours ago | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKEmployees of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), through the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), are challenging a...

‘Ghost’ defence attachés unmasked

9 hours ago | Ministries

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKThe defence ministry finds itself in hot water after it was found...

The youthful fierce, female farmer

9 hours ago | People

Jeanette Diergaardt Sixteen-year-old farmer Elandri Kruger shares her love and passion for farming. Farming with Kalahari Reds and Brahman cattle, she showed off her...

South Africa to tackle climate...

9 hours ago | Economics

TIM COCKSSouth Africa will tell rich countries at climate talks this week to honour promises to help poorer nations go green and massively boost available...

Shipping greenhouse emissions to rise...

9 hours ago | Economics

STINE JACOBSENThe global shipping industry is on course to see its greenhouse gas emissions rise by around a fifth by 2050 if action including introducing...

EDITORIAL: Tyranny of the majority

9 hours ago | Opinion

While the essence of democracy is majority rule, the making of binding decisions that affect the rights of the minority cannot pass the test of...

Vox pop question:

9 hours ago | Opinion

Dauglous MilupiI would make it compulsory for employees to dress in an appropriate manner because uniform unites the whole team and reduces the chances of...

Youth activist’s questionable acts

9 hours ago | Youth

Monique Adams and Jeanette Diergaardt The After Break magazine start-up run by Rejoice Amutenya and Mehafo Amunyela will be implementing more strict measures to...

Load More