Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

1 February 2013

Namibia: Pohamba Calls for Namibia's Inclusion in North South Corridor Project

President Hifikepunye Pohamba has proposed that Namibia be considered to be part of the North South Corridor project.

The President made the remarks at the 28th NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation (HSGOC) Summit on the "Implementation status of the presidential infrastructure champion initiative" held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 27 to 28 January.

Pohamba outlined the progress the country has made in implementing various projects such as the completed construction of the Trans-Caprivi Highway, linking Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and DRC to the port of Walvis Bay and the construction of the Trans-Kalahari Highway, which links South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

"We believe these highways are contributing to the development of African infrastructures. Namibia recently designated the Ministry of Works and Transport as Namibia's Champion for Infrastructure Projects and communicated this information to the NEPAD Agency, " Pohamba said.

The President further indicated that although challenges and constraints were encountered during the implementation of the projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI), the initiative will add an important dimension of leadership at the highest level to ensure a successful implementation of the identified projects.

"Our country, therefore, stands ready to play a constructive role, together with members of the North South Corridor, to link the two highways to the North South Corridor project. In this regard, I wish to propose that Namibia be considered to be part of the North South Corridor project," the President informed the Summit.

Progress has been made on many fronts especially in Southern Africa where people are able to travel by all-weather highways to and from Windhoek, Gaborone, Harare, Johannesburg and Lusaka. He said, when completed the projects will make the physical integration of Africa a reality.

"It is also important to expand and modernise our harbour as part of infrastructure development and expansion in Africa," Pohamba highlighted.

The North-South Corridor Programme is an example of Aid for Trade in action working to unlock the economic potential of landlocked countries in southern and eastern Africa. The programme is enhancing transportation through improvements to road, rail and ports, as well as trade facilitation measures and also increasing the power generation and energy trade potential of the Southern African Power Pool with new power generation and transmission investments.

The North-South Corridor links the port of Durban to the Copperbelt in DR Congo and Zambia and has spurs linking the port of Dar es Salaam and the Copperbelt and Durban to Malawi.

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