The NEPAD Agency launched transport and logistics initiative, MoveAfrica, to bring greater synergies to infrastructure initiatives, such as the OSBP project, trade-facilitation initiatives, including the AU’s BIAT programme and the framework on AIDA.
MoveAfrica aims to transform the African trans-boundary transport and logistics sector. It seeks to lower costs and increase efficiency of logis- tics and FMCG operators and manufacturers on the continent, while complementing the work stream and transport pillar of the CBN.
To improve investment attractiveness and improve its transport and logistics environment, the continent needs to pursue a deeper engage- ment with the private sector on developing transport and logistics-re- lated projects.
Key Highlights of MoveAfrica in 2016
MoveAfrica was presented at TICAD VI Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. The NEPAD Agency co-hosted a seminar on intra-African trade with JICA, the WCO and the EAC. Key issues discussed, included:
- the importance of free movement of people to facilitate trade;
- the importance of strong political commitment for corridor development and security; and
- political stability as the key basis for private-sector business.
The session concluded that it is critical to promote a multi-sector ap- proach for corridor development in a more comprehensive manner, while forging stronger partnerships with international, regional and na- tional stakeholders, as well as public- and private-sector stakeholders.
The initiative will also see the agency establish a “traffic light” system to assess the performance of cross-border logistics. It will undertake a logistics diagnostic survey of OSBPs to launch the system. This will assess the performance of cross-border logistics and the bottlenecks at each OSBP. The pilot survey, which will focus on selected OSBPs, will assess:
- logistics and traffic flow, as well as volumes on key corridors,
- policy and regulations concerning OSBPs,
- existing procedures at each OSBP, and
- current operational flow at each OSBP.
It will also identify bottlenecks and recommend the way forward for each OSBP.
The “traffic light” system will lead to informed and accelerated corridor development that will result in greater synergies between pri- vate-sector partners, the NEPAD Agency and its development partners.
It will address key issues, including:
- risks and rewards, as well as the appropriate strategic and operational decisions to support private sector players;
- certainty of the timeline cost factors and return on investment based on potential that these corridors offer; and
- the handling of stakeholder priorities by governments and conditions along these corridors that hinder growth of economic activities.
Ultimately, the RECs will be expected to monitor and report on the performance of OSBPs on key corridors. The agency plans to expand the “traffic light” system from assessing OSBP logistics performance to monitoring the perfor- mance of the entire corridor. As such, there is potential to attract private-broader private-sec- tor participation in the initiative.