The Southern African Development Community (SADC) as an Economic Regional body has strengthened the operations of the Freight Industry since it’s inception in 1980 with notable progress being witnessed in the Road,Railway,Air and Maritime Port areas within Member States.
Significant number of Freight related Infrastructure has been upgraded through SADC’s Member States Agreements, Set Targets and Projects implementation with the Regional Development Master Plan 2012 document ( RDMP) setting the pace.
Henceforth the Region has witnessed trade progress within Member States like Zimbabwe occupying 5th position of the most important trade partners to South Africa in the wake of a hindrance free Freight initated business.
Information on the Regional Body’s Website indicate that the Member States agreed to improve their facilitation of Freight related infrastructure holistically benefiting all Member States in the Region.
” Recognising the scale of Air Transport and Civil Aviation in the Region’s future,SADC’s protocol on Transport and Communication and Meteorelogy sets out a policy frame work for the Industry’s involvement in Regional Intergration and economic development” read part of it’s publication online.
In the Protocol on Transport , Communication and Meteorelogy which was signed in 1996 and came into effect in 1998,Member States agreed to standardise their Air Aviation in accordance with international best practices as well as develop ” an adequate road network that support the Socio Economic growth underway in the region”.
“Member States agree to support a safe reliable and efficient industry based on International Civil Aviation Organization standards and recommended practices” said SADC in it’s online publication.
In the same vein,projections aimed at improving the Freight Industry Infrastructure were established just after a 2001 Assessment of the Region’s infrastructure targeting 2027 as a tentative deadline for about 72 road infrastructure and transport projects completion.
The set targets were then recorded in the subsequent Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan Document of 2012 detailing a number of roads to be upgraded and completed as follows;
- Dar-es-Salaam – Chilinze toll road
- Nata Kazungula Road upgrading
- Beitbridge – Chirundu road upgrading
- Tete toll bridge
*Western Corridor road in Zambia
Within the same 25 year period SADC committed to facilitate the improvements on the Region’s Ports particulary the North South Corridor, Maputo Corridor and the Dar-es-Salaam Corridor Port all in effort to expand the Region’s Sea- land Freight.
Overally, Regional Body instituted about 31 Railway projects,23 air aviation and 64 maritime ports in it’s 2012 Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan.
” SADC states are instituting some upgrades on their National Air Transport Infrastructure ” read part of the report
This then explains the modernisation of Maun, Kasane, Gaborone, Francistown Airports in Botswana and the construction of new passenger and Cargo terminals at Maputo International Airport in Mozambique or the current upgrading of the Robert Mugabe international Airport in Zimbabwe.
Within the same thrust, the Regional Body has reported Tanzania investing in Civil Aviation training Centre ” positioning itself as a hub for Civil Aviation Training Centre”.
- The Rail Freight industry is also a beneficiary to SADC’s initiatives as the Economic Body’s Master Plan also indicated the need to construction and upgrade of Chingola Zambia-Solwezi Railway Extension,Botswana’s Lephalale Railway ,Sena Railway upgrading and Beira Machipanda line upgrading in Mozambique.
- SADC support to the Freight Industry is also witnessed in other regional economic bodies such as ECOWAS which now accounts for 28% of export as to EU.