Corridors are key for economic development

SWAKOPMUND

17 September 2018 | Crime

Adolf Kaure

The seventh Trans Kalahari Corridor Management Committee (TKCMC) joint law enforcement operation took place on the B2 highway near Swakopmund on Wednesday.

Speaking on behalf of minister of works and transport John Mutorwa, his permanent secretary, Willem Goeieman, said that transportation is vital for economic development and that that many transport bilateral and multilateral agreements like TKCMC have made the movement of goods and people across borders seamless.

“Harmonisation of legislation, policies and procedures is key in promoting unimpeded flow of goods and passengers between and across international borders. This will lead to the development of harmonised road transport policy that provide for equal treatment, non-discriminative, reciprocity and fair competition among international transporters or operators. I would therefore call on all the contracting parties of the TKCMC through the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat to work harder to move some of the impediments to trade and ensure that decisions taken are implemented,” said Goeieman.

He further explained how the TKC is critical for development in the Southern African subcontinent.

“Developing countries such as ours have taken a stand to beneficiate production and thus promote the diversification drive. All these initiatives would fall flat if we do not have corridors that may channel production to the markets. It is therefore critical that the TKCMC ensures that the TKC is not only a transport corridor but upgraded to a developmental and economic corridor. Our people living along the TKC should be able to make a living out of the spin offs from the TKC,” he said.

The global crisis in road traffic injury declared by the WHO through the 2004 World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention continues largely unabated. An estimated 1.24 million people die on the world’s roads each year and many millions are temporarily or permanently disabled.

The 2013 Global Burden of Disease study estimated that road traffic injury is the leading cause of death worldwide for people 15 to 24 years old, and the second leading cause of death for those 25 to 39 years after HIV/Aids. Twice as many people die of road traffic injury as of malaria, and the WHO projects that road traffic injury will accelerate and overtake HIV/Aids as a cause of death by 2030.

Furthermore, the permanent secretary added that one of the aims of the campaign is to address the miseries brought about by road crashes.

Africa is experiencing the highest per capita rate of road fatalities currently in the world. The global status report on road safety for 2013 estimated the rate of road traffic deaths at 24.1 per 10 000 people in Africa, the highest in the world. By comparison, this rate is 18.5 in Asia and 10.3 in Europe. Africa possesses 2% of the world’s vehicles with 12% of the world’s population but with 16% of the fatalities.

The Trans Kalahari Corridor is a tripartite trans-boundary corridor management institution that was established with a political and economic vision to pursue or contribute towards deeper regional integration programmes of SADC, SACU and NEPAD.

The Trans Kalahari Corridor is a road network spanning approximately 1 900 km across the territories of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It starts in the Gauteng province in South Africa and continues through Rustenburg and Zeerust in the North-West province, through to Lobate and Kanye in Botswana, the Mamuno and Buitepos border post, through Gobabis, Windhoek and Okahandja in Namibia and right through to the port of Walvis Bay.

Member states agreed to conduct one joint law enforcement and road safety intervention in each member state annually. This is the second operation hosted by Namibia in 2018.

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