The Harmonisation of Regulatory Frameworks of Road Transport in Africa is a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to bring together African nations to discuss and implement cohesive and streamlined policies for road transport across the continent.
Study tour to Heidelberg Traffic Control Centre on the Johannesburg-Durban highway which is the busiest section on the regional North South Corridor.
The workshop held at Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, aims to foster economic development, improve road safety, and enhance the overall efficiency of road transportation in Africa by harmonizing and standardising regulations and promoting digitalisation in road transport across the continent.
Organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP), the meeting was attended by government officials, policymakers, regulators, transport experts, partners and concerned delegates from African Union Member States who came together with shared vision of improving the continent’s road transport sector. Additionally, representatives from Regional Economic Communities (RECs) African Union Commission (AU), AUDA-NEPAD, and European Union (EU) were present, further emphasizing the importance of a coordinated and unified approach to this important issue.
The workshop also included representatives from various transport corridor management organizations, who provided valuable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities associated with specific regional transport corridors in Africa. With joint support from the African Union and the European Union, this workshop highlights ongoing efforts to support infrastructural development and improved transportation systems on the African continent.
By reviewing and assessing the current regulatory frameworks and the gaps between the frameworks, the workshop has facilitated information sharing, study tours, and demonstrations of vehicle load management to identify gaps and areas for improvement. Furthermore, it has highlighted the importance of ICT systems as an integral part of the overall process to improve road transport. ICT introduces efficiency, limits opportunities for corruption and facilitate sharing of information between transport, logistics, and trade entities and operators.
Delegates at the AUC-TTTFP Workshop attentively listening to a presentation
The workshop has also fostered dialogue and cooperation among African countries and relevant institutions to harmonise regulatory frameworks and to develop strategies and action plans to manage this sector across the continent. These collective efforts will help reduce the negative impact of overloading on road infrastructure, improve overall road safety, and accelerate the harmonisation of road transport instruments, ultimately leading to the development of an integrated road transport framework for Africa. This is critical as road transport is key to facilitating the implementation of the AfCFTA, given that 80% of trade currently moves by road and AfCTA is expected to stimulate transport demand by 28%.
Delegates at the workshop pose for a group photo
The study tour to Heidelberg Traffic Control Centre on the Johannesburg-Durban highway which is the busiest section on the regional North South Corridor, also provided an avenue to enhance the understanding of the participants on how weighbridges can be standardised and implemented across the continent to minimise damage to road infrastructure and enhance road safety, which would serve as a step forward in terms of replicating best practices from countries that commenced similar practices ahead.
The Workshop has made significant strides in achieving its primary objectives paving the way for the realization of a more integrated, efficient, and sustainable road transport sector across the continent
Access to Workshop materials including various presentations and documentation on harmonising road regulatory frameworks
OSBPs [One-Stop Border Posts] help to significantly reduce the time and cost it takes for goods and traders to cross borders, through the processing of border clearance under one roof. The OSBP Sourcebook, an operational guide to the OSBP concept, covers issues such as legal & regulatory frameworks, simplification & harmonisation of border procedures, physical border facilities, and making the best use of ICT.
Since the publication of the 2nd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook in May 2016, two major developments – the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the COVID-19 pandemic – have resulted in a need to revise the Sourcebook with preparation of a 3rd edition. The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD), with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (and its consultant, PADECO Co., Ltd. of Japan), has undertaken work to revise the 2nd edition of the Sourcebook, through technical research, technical consultation meetings, and interviews and questionnaire surveys of key OSBP-related stakeholders. The overall objective is to reflect lessons drawn from practical experience in operationalizing OSBPs – especially regarding the AfCFTA and COVID-19 – in the 3rd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook.
Group Photograph: Technical Consultation Meetings (January and March 2022)
As part of this process to prepare the 3rd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook, consultations were undertaken with various stakeholders associated with OSBPs to collect the required information. This has included a questionnaire survey, interviews, and technical consultation meetings in January and March 2022.
The first technical consultation meeting – held in January 2022 – brought together over 30 OSBP-related stakeholders and covered a wide range of issues, including (1) the concept and role of OSBPs toward the achievement of a Continental Customs Union; (2) physical facilities and ICT technology; (3) small traders and border communities; (4) health procedures and protocols; (5) legal and institutional frameworks; (6) border security; and (7) OSBP procedures and case studies. Among other issues, the first technical consultation meeting stressed the importance of interconnectivity of customs systems and other complementary interventions.
The second technical consultation meeting in March 2022 brought together about 30 OSBP-related stakeholders with discussions focused on (1) the AfCFTA, regional integration, and OSBPs; (2) COVID-19 and OSBPs; and (3) ICT and OSBPs. The stakeholders discussed the role of OSBPs in the implementation of the AfCFTA; they noted the transition toward the Continental Customs Union, and reaffirmed that OSBPs can play a role as a first step in realising an integrated Africa. The stakeholders also discussed the role of OSBPs in reflecting new challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and noted the importance of interconnectivity and the use of integrated platforms to monitor the movement of vehicles.
OSBP Concept (Source: OSBP Sourcebook)
With about 150 comments and other inputs from stakeholders, key outcomes of the technical consultation meetings included the following:
- As Africa moves toward continent-wide integration through the AfCFTA, it is necessary to reflect this continental agenda when preparing the 3rd edition of the Sourcebook.
- It will be important to reflect health and political contingencies, which have emerged since the publication of the 2nd edition of the Sourcebook.
- Beyond hard infrastructure, there is a need to pay more attention to soft infrastructure and the needs of specific communities (e.g., informal traders) and consider how to engage more partners, with an understanding of the cross-cutting needs for trade facilitation.
- It will be important to obtain more buy-in and reach as many stakeholders as possible and disseminate the outputs of the new OSBP sourcebook for further utilization “on the ground”.
The two consultation meetings were successfully managed to create a platform of engagement with highly committed leaders and experts on OSBPs and made enthusiastic steps forward toward the publication of the 3rd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook. Of great importance, the meeting enhanced mutual understanding among OSBP implementers/practitioners on issues arising from the AfCFTA and COVID-19 pandemic. As the next step, the final draft of the 3rd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook will be presented in alignment with the needs and expectations of the various stakeholders at a validation workshop in April 2022.
The Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) has inaugurated Africa into a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). SBAS is an improved system with an accurate and reliable Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellation without the need for local ground-based navigation aids and landing systems at airports. Africa, led by ASECNA, is now able to develop its own SBAS system, for the benefit of all aviation stakeholders, that is, airlines. The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) through its Continental Business Network (CBN) with the technical assistance of ALG and the support from the GIZ collaboratively worked with two African airlines, ASKY and Air Côte d’Ivoire, to develop a tailored business case tool to quantify the financial implications of the case of SBAS for airlines. A massive success to the AUDA-NEAPD ensures the African continent moves a stage forward in improving the transport sector.
ASECNA is committed to the autonomous provision of SBAS services in the Africa & Indian Ocean (AFI) region. The SBAS programme is currently under development, with successful pilot demonstrations performed in Lomé in January 2021, given the provision of operational services by 2024. Successive evolutions are expected to give coverage to the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.
- EV0 evolution (from 2024): West and Central Africa
- EV2 evolution (from 2028): West and Central Africa & Indian Ocean
- EV4 evolution (from 2032): Sub-Saharan Africa
The Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) consists of a set of geostationary satellites that broadcast positioning corrections calculated using a network of geographically distributed reference stations. These corrections improve the accuracy and reliability of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) constellations without the need for local ground-based navigation aids and landing systems at airports.
The position accuracy of GNSS standalone, typically in the range of 5-10 meters horizontally and 8-20 meters vertically, can be improved down to 1 and 2 meters respectively with SBAS. Additionally, GNSS does not provide information on how reliable the position is (integrity concept), whilst SBAS does bring this safety-critical information. SBAS systems have been developed in Europe (EGNOS), US (WAAS), MSAS (Japan), and GAGAN (India), with ongoing initiatives in Russia, China, Australia & New Zealand, Korea to be operational in the next two to three years.
The economic results derived from the analysis proved to be extremely positive, with the aircraft retrofits giving Return on Investments (ROI) in the order of 200% to 500%, Internal Rate of Returns (IRRs) between 26% and 58%, and payback periods of 4 to 6 years depending on the aircraft model and routes flown. The global NPV (Net Present Value) results for the retrofit of a medium-sized airline of 18 aircraft serving 250 arrivals per week and 760,000 passengers per year is in the order of 2.5 M$
A sensitivity analysis was also performed in all cases, to assess the robustness of the results and the influence of certain key parameters such as fleet age, retrofitting start year, avionics costs, and traffic scenarios. In all cases, the business case proved very profitable, demonstrating the robustness of the economic case against variations. SBAS provides benefits for many aviation stakeholders across the value chain (airlines, Air Navigation Service Providers, and airport operators) and in other market segments, such as maritime, rail, agriculture, or drones. This paper focuses on the benefits provided to airspace users and the economic business case of SBAS equipage in aircraft.
Overall, the increased levels of precision and integrity provided by SBAS derive from safety and operational benefits, as well as induced traffic growth benefits. For the case of safety, SBAS can greatly reduce the number of CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) events, as vertical navigation is the main cause of these accidents. Africa, due to its discontinuous ground aids to navigation infrastructure (14% of AFI airports equipped with Instrumental Landing Aids), represents around 20% of the global fatalities for these types of accidents. Additionally, the overall accident rate in Africa in the 2015-2019 period measured in accidents per million departures (7.5) is greatly above the world average (2.64).
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