The Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) Council of Ministers on Friday lauded the member states for dedicating resources to improve transport infrastructure projects.
The Council commended the progress made by the member states in developing and improving regional transport infrastructure projects such as road transport networks , dry ports and inland container depots, one stop border points, standard gauge railway and oil pipeline.
This was said during the 33rd Northern Corridor Council of Ministers Virtual meeting that took place in Mombasa.
The online meeting whose theme was “Towards a Resilient, Smart and Responsive Corridor for Trade and Transport Logistics” brought together Member States of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.
Kenya was represented by the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Regional Development Adan Mohamed who handed over the chairmanship of the Council to Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete.
Other Ministers who participated in the virtual meeting were Capitoline Niyonizigiye (Burundi), Cherubin Okende (Democratic Republic of Congo), Madut Biar Yel (South Sudan) and Edward Katumba from Uganda.
The Council of Ministers emphasised the importance of the Northern Corridor Transport route and the role it plays in promoting regional and international integration.
They reaffirmed the commitment of their respective countries towards integrating the Road Side Stations Programme in Transport Infrastructure Development along the Northern Corridor highways.
They directed the Secretariat to promote road safety and advocate for the rehabilitation and development of Ports and inland water transport along the Northern Corridor Region.
“Though there are still some challenges for the Northern Corridor region to achieve its full potential in trading between the countries , the member states were committed to work in synergy to direct adequate resources towards the development of the Multimodal Transport Infrastructure Projects aiming at promoting intra-regional trade and integration,” said the Council.
In a joint communiqué, the ministers expressed their commitment to create an enabling business and investment environment to attract local and international private investment into the region for Northern Corridor development.
They recommended that the secretariat should start using resource mobilisation strategy and undertake engagement with technical and development partners for mobilisation of financial and technical assistance, as well as capacity building.
The Council acknowledged the resilience of the Northern Corridor as tracked through the Transport Observatory and its various indicators over the past one year, where it showed despite the Covid-19 pandemic and challenges posed, improvements were recorded in almost all key parameters.
The Northern Corridor Transit Agreement (NTCA) signed in Bujumbura, Burundi on February 19, 1985 by the Republic of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda covered the use of transportation facilities of East Africa linking the countries to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya.
The signatories ratified the Agreement in 1985 and 1986, and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) acceded to it on May 8, 1987 in Rwanda.
The revised Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement (NCITTA) was signed in Nairobi, Kenya on October 6, 2007 between the Governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. The Republic of South Sudan acceded to the Agreement as the sixth member state in 2012.
By Mohamed Hassan