Namibia: Ugandan Delegation Consults Schlettwein

A 14-member delegation from Uganda that is on a study tour and benchmarking exercise on road infrastructure funding, on Monday paid a courtesy visit to finance minister Calle Schlettwein.

The team comprised the minister of state for general duties in the ministry of finance, Gabriel Ajedra Aridru (delegation leader), members of the parliamentary sectoral committee on physical infrastructure and the chief executive officer of the Ugandan road fund.

They are in the country for two days to learn from Namibia on road infrastructure set-up, maintenance and regulation policies.

During the two-day study tour the group also visited the Namibian Road Fund Administration (RFA).

Speaking at the meeting in Windhoek, Aridru commended Namibia's road infrastructure, saying the country has done well in maintaining its roads, something which is lacking in Uganda.

"We chose Namibia to benchmark, as the country's roads are not only commendable regionally but on the international level as well. As we are busy setting up our third national development plan, this visit will help us set up policy frameworks that will help us to build and maintain our road infrastructure," he noted.

He further indicated that the road sector in Uganda takes up 25-30% of the national budget (equivalent to N$6 billion) per year compared to Namibia's N$2,7 billion.

"We would like to learn how Namibia is able to maintain its roads with the money allocated to them, which is less than our allocation," he added.

Conversely, Schlettwein said Namibia is able to maintain its road network with the help of consumption tax, which allows every vehicle owner to contribute to the road infrastructure through the fuel levy.

He noted that Namibia has incorporated economic integration by emphasising regional leading roads, railways and harbour ports.

"Africa has the capacity to develop itself through benchmarks such as this, therefore, Namibia is honoured to be an exemple on road infrastructure to many African countries," he said.

According to RFA corporate services manager Scheifert Shigwedha, the RFA collects about N$2,5 billion per year from road user charges and fuel levies. - Nampa

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