In an attempt to address challenges associated with transportation of goods within the continentâ€™s transport corridors, Africa Corridor Management Alliance (ACMA) was launched on Monday. The launch took place at the ongoing Africa Trade Forum (ATF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The alliance was initiated by the Africa Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), which is housed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).Â
The need for an alliance is bolstered by a growing call for practical measures to address the barriers to boosting intra-African trade.
Â According to director of the regional integration and trade division, ECA, Stephen Karingi, these barriers include roadblocks, unofficial fees, harassment and corruption along trade and transit corridors and at border crossings.Â
â€œWe also note different rules concerning axle load limits, different vehicle standards and inspection requirements, high transport costs, driven by cumbersome administrative procedures and delays in clearance of goods at the ports,â€ he said.Â
Speaking on behalf of the alliance, chief executive officer of the Namibia-based Walvis Bay Corridor Group Johny Smith, said the development and modernisation of transport infrastructure, as well as the removal of non-tariff barriers along all corridors of Africa is critical for trade expansion and regional integration.
â€œThe alliance will play a critical role in enhancing trade facilitation measures along these corridors,â€ he added.Â
He said the development and management of transport corridors is an integral and critical part of trade facilitation strategies and reforms and, as such, the goal of a corridor is to promote internal and external trade by focusing on efficient transport and logistics services.Â
â€œWe do this through the implementation of strategies and interventions that reduce transit times and cost of shipping goods along the corridor,â€ said Â Smith.Â
The alliance aims at increasing collaboration and information sharing. It will also enhance exchange, promote best practices and build capacity among its members. It will also contribute to policy formulation and opportunities and respond to the financial and technical needs of corridor institutions.Â
â€œThe alliance will focus on making sure that what we implement, we must also monitor and evaluate,â€ said Smith.Â
He told the forum that the alliance has also set up a governing board to drive the work of the alliance.