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Finding solutions for freight transport in Africa

The 2013 Africa Road Transport Forum will bring together key role players from the public and private sectors throughout Africa to find solutions to problems along the corridors affecting the road transport, freight forwarding and logistics industries.

The Forum is an excellent networking opportunity and a chance to discuss ways to improve intra-regional trade with a unique audience that will not be found at any other industry event in South Africa.

The importance of the Forum has now been enhanced by an exciting new development. The World Bank Sub-Saharan African Transport Policy Programme (SSATP) has agreed to host its Regional Economic Communities Transport Coordination Committee (REC-TCC) meeting back-to-back with the Forum.

SSATP is an international partnership to facilitate policy development and related capacity building in the transport sector in Africa (its sphere of operations has now extended from sub-Saharan Africa to the whole of Africa).  It comprises 36 countries, eight RECs (regional economic communities), public and private sector organizations, and international development agencies and organizations.  SSATP has brings together decision makers and stakeholders, while developing networks of specialists in most land transport related fields.

Two REC-TCC meetings are held each year.  FESARTA and Transport World Africa magazine are very privileged to facilitate the first meeting of 2013 in Johannesburg.

A number of the REC-TCC delegates will stay over for the Road Transport Forum. This will give excellent opportunities for Forum delegates to network with people who bring a wealth of experience and information from other parts of Africa.

The REC-TCC delegates include high-level transport representatives of the eight RECS.  Those from the public sector are either employed by the RECs, or they are from transport departments in the various countries.  The private sector delegates are consultants and company members of the various countries’ national road transport associations.

As the core focus of the REC-TCC meetings is trade facilitation, the delegates will be able to advise Forum participants on how best to conduct trade throughout Africa. Their involvement in finding solutions to key problems will be extremely valuable.

There is a further exciting new development in extending the sphere of influence of the Forum to West Africa specifically.

The Borderless Alliance is a private sector-led partnership of the business and public sectors, funded by the USAID West African Trade Hub and company membership. Its main objective is to increase trade across West Africa.

Amongst its initiatives, is the setting up of border information centres at six focal points along the corridors in West Africa.

In the few years that it has been in operation, the transit times and costs along the West African corridors, have shown significant drops.

Representatives of Borderless Alliance will attend the Forum, widening its reach to the West African region.

Attending the Forum therefore represents a unique opportunity to network with representatives from the 36 African countries, 8 RECs and representatives from West Africa’s Borderless Alliance, in addition to important figures from the Southern and East African regional authorities and national road transport associations.

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