BY JOSEPH NGWAWI |SOUTH AFRICAN NEWS FEATURES
8 JULY 2013
Southern Africa is seeking investment and finance for a $64 billion programme to improve transport, energy and other infrastructure over the next five years.
The plan for 106 cross-border infrastructure projects covering the priority sectors of energy, transport, tourism, water, information communication technology and meteorology was presented to an Infrastructure Investment Conference hosted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the Mozambican capital Maputo in late June.
Projects cover the development of transboundary infrastructure including alternative energy sources, information communication technology and civil aviation, and are expected to be implemented by 2017.
The transport sector had the largest number of projects showcased during the one-day investment conference, with 40 projects for improvement of road, railways, ports and border posts, valued at about US$16.3 billion, presented to potential investors.
Priority transport infrastructure projects include those targeting the expansion, rehabilitation and modernisation of Durban and Walvis Bay ports; new rail projects and rehabilitation of existing ones; new road links connecting Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo and rehabilitation of others around the region; and introduction of one-stop border posts at Beitbridge between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Soft infrastructure projects under the transport sector include plans to introduce a uniform road user charging system for all countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and SADC as well as the establishment of a regional transport competition authority for the three regional economic communities.
It was noted that while the development of physical infrastructure was essential, effective access to infrastructure services required regulatory reform and regional harmonisation of regulations.
COMESA-EAC-SADC are implementing regional integration programmes in trade and economic development that include regional infrastructure development programmes in transport, information communications technology, energy and civil aviation as a first step towards the realisation of continental integration.
Link to the article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307082070.html?aa_source=mf-hdlns