Namibia’s DRC, Zambia dry ports not fully used

March 10, 2023 2584

Walvis Bay Corridor Group says the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia should fully utilise their dry ports in Namibia.

"That can only be achieved by increasing the cargo. It is imperative for the DRC to develop its Dry port in a similar way that Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe did it. I am equally pleased to note that a Zambian parastatal specialising in cargo and logistics (Zamcargo) is finalising setting up operations in Namibia," said Walvis Bay Corridor Group's Chief Executive Officer Mbahupu Tjivikua.

As a result, space and land in the old container terminal were made available for the handling of various goods and minerals in bulk and break-bulk.

This comes as the Walvis Bay Ndola Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC), which connects the DRC, Namibia, and Zambia, held its Tripartite and Council of Ministers of Transport meeting this week in Livingstone, Zambia.

The meeting, which was facilitated by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, aimed at reviewing progress in the implementation of the corridor's tripartite agreement, which was signed in 2010.

The Walvis Bay-Ndola Lubumbashi Development Corridor is an important trade artery and an economic lifeline for the Port of Walvis Bay and all the supporting road infrastructure, the Katima Mulilo-Sesheke border, the new Kazungula One Stop Border Post (OSBP) and the mighty Kasumbalesa One Stop Border Post (OSBP).

Although there have been notable advancements along this corridor since the States signed the Agreement, he points out that there are still a number of unresolved cross-border problems and non-tariff trade barriers in the region.

"Since the last session of this tripartite last year in Lubumbashi, we have observed the following non-tariff barriers and impediments to trade were recorded serious congestion at Kasumbalesa border post where the queue on the Zambian side is sometimes a distance of 170km from Lubumbashi to Ndola," said Tjivikua.

He noted that issues of transit fees and council levies in Zambia and DRC were increasing the cost of doing business on the corridors.

"Fellow Africans, Peace, Security and Stability is no longer a luxury but a pertinent requirement for Africa as a whole. I would like the Member States to seriously address the issue of insecurity affecting our corridors such as the harassment and extortion by unscrupulous elements in our corridor," he added.

Tjivikua said their duty is to transform these transport corridors into economic development corridors, adding that there is a need to "turn the constraints and challenges into opportunities. It is therefore the duty of all of us in attendance that we eliminate all these bottlenecks and impediments to trade."

He added that cross-border movement between the countries remains a challenge because of "tedious visa processing" as this negatively heavily impacts the morale of those trying to do business as well as the truck drivers.

"I am advocating for the abolishment of visas between our countries. Just last month, Namibia and Botswana have abolished the use of passports for their citizens crossing between these countries and introduced the use of identity cards. This is best practice that we need to emulate on this corridor too."

On the same note, Zambia’s Minister of Transport and Logistic Frank Tayali said the transport sector is a very dynamic sector which keeps on evolving from time to time and as such the corridor continues to face numerous challenges with regard to transport and trade despite various efforts to resolve them by the member states.

"Among them are mandatory provision of consignment notes by transporters, failure to which exorbitant fees are charged most especially in Namibia, non-implementation of pre-clearance of goods leading to congestion at border crossings points, increased transit times and high cost of doing business to our transporters," he said.

He also mentioned violence against drivers, cargo theft, the absence of a fixed weigh bridge in Zambia's Copper belt province, which forces transporters to overload, and the ongoing difficulty of deteriorating road infrastructure.

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Last modified on Monday, 13 March 2023 19:37

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