Swakopmund — Economic development and social transformation is only possible with a well-developed and maintained road infrastructure that is an enabler for economic growth and the smooth movement of goods and people.
This is according to the Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa. Mutorwa made the remarks early this week at the Africa Road Maintenance Fund Association (ARMFA) annual general assembly and meeting currently underway in Swakopmund.
The meeting held under the theme; "Sustainable road infrastructure, impact on regional integration and free trade Africa" is attended by 120 delegates from various African countries to discuss issues affecting roads in Africa and to discuss how to preserve and maintain roads for the benefit of Africans.
Mutorwa, who visited the road upgrading projects in Erongo Region on Tuesday said that functioning infrastructure such as roads, rails, ports and other basic systems is an absolute condition for development and economic growth.
"Hence it is encouraging to see that the issue of infrastructure development is getting serious attention both at the African Union as well as sub, regional and country level," said the works and transport minister.
"Trading infrastructure in the past was built to facilitate the exporting of African goods and raw material to the countries that colonised us. Despite the fact that we all are independent today, we have no success yet in building or upgrading our roads to unify Africa," he said.
Also speaking at the same gathering, Chief Executive Officer of the Roads Fund Administration who also serve as vice-president of ARMFA, Ali Ipinge, said that the organisation continues to contribute to continental integration.
Ipinge explained they have learned that challenges of managing and upkeep of road assets on the continent as well as accessibility differs greatly among and between member states.
"However, we remain weave together by the strength of this uniqueness and the common interest of developing road networks and corridors that will improve free regional integration and trade," he said.