Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Central corridor zone welcomes international investors

TRANSPORT ministers from five countries in East and Central Africa who formed the Central Corridor Transit Transportation Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA), have launched the first ever acceleration process of  the high level investors’ forum to speed up the transitional infrastructure development for the great Lakes region. CCTTFA countries which include Tanzania, DCR, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda ratified an agreement of facilitating infrastructural development along the central corridor zone since its establishment in 2006 . The agency was formed with a view to ensure that cargo clearances are efficient and transport costs are minimized to ensure logistics efficiency and competitiveness. The Minister for Transport Samwel Sitta said in Dar es Salaam last Friday that, the process will open up an avenue for international investors who are willing to come and invest in infrastructure for which the agency was formed that includes port, railways and road infrastructure within the Central Corridor zone. He told a press conference after a two hour closed door meeting of CCTTFA country transport ministers and their representatives that the aim is to ease transportation infrastructure within the central corridor zone which starts from Dar es Salaam port and moves along the central railway line up to Kigoma and across Lake Tanganyika to the neighboring DRC country. 

Tanzania's Minister for Transport Samwel Sitta

Another area of investment within the corridor he noted would include road infrastructure and ports including the dry port of Isaka in Shinyanga region currently under construction to receive transit cargo  to be destined for Rwanda and Burundi countries respectively. Minister Sitta further noted that, transport facilitation programme is also in line with the agreement earlier ratified by five East African countries under Single Customs Territory (SCT) with a view to facilitate the accessibility of their exports and imports through Dar es Salaam port. According to minister Sitta, the yesterday meeting was convened also in preparation for the investors’ forum which will be held back to back with the central corridor Presidential Round Table (PRT) on March 25th later this month in Dar es Salaam, and the event will be attended by Heads of States of CCTTFA member states. He further elaborated that, the five Presidents of member countries will engage themselves to discuss matters concerning with the transportation within the corridor and among other activities, they will also inaugurate a block train that will carry cargo to their respective countries. “Presidents of Rwanda, DRC and Burundi will flag off a block train one after the other that will transport cargo to be destined to their respective countries”, he said adding that the event will take place at Dar es Salaam main Railways Station.  It can be recalled that, the Central Corridor Acceleration Process was launched in Davos in January 2014 during World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting. The programme seeks to accelerate infrastructure investments through Private Sector Participation. The central corridor was selected as the pilot project out of 51 projects under programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa-Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP)

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