REPORT: Transport Corridors in Africa: Boosting Development and Trade

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    Corridors projects are numerous on the African continent. Since 2010, with a strong support from local and international actors through the PIDA (Infrastructure Development Program in Africa), multimodal corridor modernization  is accelerating in Africa. This involves construction, rehabilitation and interconnection to meet the challenges of globalized trade.




    Ref: ONRI.1/PIDA/2010/04



    By 2040, Africa's demographic growth, economic and trade development will result in both increased demand at the regional and continental levels for port facilities, freight and air transport. With only 34% access rate to paved roads , the emerging corridors, road, rail or river routes serving cities or ports and economic activities zones are crucial for the continent.

    Current estimates indicate that the volume of trade in sub-Saharan Africa should more than triple, from 102.6 million tonnes in 2009 to 384 million tonnes in 2030, if trade corridors are completed. In addition, the development of rail corridors will have a substantial impact on intra-regional trade, which currently only amounts to 12% of total African trade. Trade between African countries is expected to increase from 35 million tonnes in 2009 to 120.4 million tonnes in 2030.



    The African Union, a strong supporter of corridor improvements for African economic integration


    Route Bamako - Narena du corridor Bamako – Conakry source : AdDB


    15 of the 54 African countries are landlocked. According to the World Bank, transport costs in landlocked countries can reach 77% of the value of goods exported. Since 2010, the African Union, through the adoption of the PIDA, has initiated the Corridor improvement process to boost Africa's competitiveness in the global market. Landlocked countries are at a disadvantage in terms of access to international markets. Distances to seaports are long.


    As a result, logistics costs are very high. These high tariffs increase the cost of imports and undermine the competitiveness of exports.


    To boost international exchanges, the Office of the High Representative for Landlocked Developing Countries through the Almaty Plan of Action advocates the development of all efficient transit systems for these countries. PIDA's vision for transport is to work towards "an integrated continent where transport infrastructure and services enable the free movement of goods and passengers through the development of modern corridors, including bridge ports and air transport services, by upgrading the performance of ARTIN (African Regional Transport Infrastructure Network) components to global best practices in efficiency, cost, reliability and security. "


    The corridors of Africa's growth: ARTIN in 2009 and in 2040





    African corridors aim to inter connect all African capitals through direct routes, improve road transport facilities and contribute to the economic integration of the African continent. The modernization of African corridors must respect modern and international standards. For roads, this means standardized road width, bypass roads for the main towns and villages, a third lane when the road has an incline of  3% or more, parking areas such as shoulders / trucks parking areas and juxtaposed inspection centers (mainly developed by the private sector.) With regards to rail: gauge, the size of the passage, junctions; railway capacity (the quality of rolling stock, i.e. locomotives, wagons, etc.). For ports: capacity (and equipment for downtime), container loading and unloading structures, inner container depots. 

    These apply within the various geographical areas (Southern Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa, North Africa) and accross Regional Economic Communities (RECs).


    Modernizing African corridors requires rehabilitating and building roads, highways, a rail network, ICT development and integration


    According to Anca C. Dumitrescu, Transport specialist and coastal corridor project manager Abidjan-Lagos at the World Bank, "despite the fact that the corridors enable rail-road-rail connections in West Africa, representing about 6% of the GDP of the region, the volume of intra-ECOWAS trade (Economic Community of West African States) is still limited ". Since March 2010, the Regional Corridor Trade and Transport Facilitation Program has been stepping up development. By way of illustration, the construction in progress since 2012 of the Abidjan-Lagos corridor, which covers 2/3 of transport and transit trade in ECOWAS, is the main access route to coastal and landlocked countries in West Africa. The Abidjan-Lagos corridor would become a long-term catalyst for economic growth and regional integration in West Africa. To this must be added the modernization of the multimodal corridors Dakar-Niamey, Praia-Dakar-Abidjan and Abidjan-Ouagadougou / Bamako.


    Central Corridor.png In Southern and Eastern Africa, corridor development aims to facilitate multimodal transport, road and rail and fulfill complementary functions, including freight distribution, with slow rail transport being offset by lower costs. Thus, corridors are tools for regional integration. In 2017, the  World Bank disbursed US $ 600 million in 2017 to support the regional project on the construction of maritime transport infrastructure for the "central corridor" through Lake Tanganyika.





    Source :CCTTFA Official Map




    This project will have to reduce by 40% the cost of transporting goods passing through this corridor, according to Libérât Bapfumukeko, Secretary General of the East African Community (CEA).


    Meanwhile, a project involving Djibouti dreaming of becoming the gateway to East Africa consists of building eight corridors linking it to Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan with an investment of US $ 900 million in 2017. The ambition is to to connect the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean by rail (Djibouti-Cameroon). In southern Africa, Mozambique's economic reconstruction and regional integration are based on three corridors. The northern corridor connects Malawi with the port of Nacala by rail. The Beira corridor, comprising road, rail and oil pipeline, is the main  oceanic opening of Zimbabwe. Central African authorities also rely heavily on the modernization of multimodal corridors such as the Kribi-Bangui-Kisangani corridor (road-rail-river).

    Measuring the efficiency of transit corridors is perceived through the organization of the system both for Cameroon's international trade and for the landlocked countries of the CEMAC subregion (Economic Community and monetary policy of Central Africa). However, it should be noted that Central Africa is considerably behind in the implementation of modern corridors.


    The modernization of the trans-Maghreb corridor aims at developing intra-African trade


    North Africa currently has a relatively satisfactory regional transport infrastructure system.


    PIDA's long-term objectives (2040) for North Africa are threefold: upgrading the existing network, filling the capacity gap to meet future demand, and completing the missing sections of the trans-African highways. This is to strengthen exchanges between the Maghreb countries through the reduction of artificial barriers to trade between the countries of the region and those of neighboring RECs (CEDAO, CENSAD, see ECCAS) by establishing a Smart Corridor system along the entire infrastructure.


    SMART Corridors, a strong link in the development of logistics in the transport of goods in Africa


    corridor intelligent.png


    Transport costs, particularly in landlocked African countries, account for between 15% and 20% of import costs. They are about two to three times higher than in most developed countries. The high cost of logistics due to the limited capacity of inefficient infrastructure and customs or too much cross-border formalities hampers economic and social development in Africa. As a result, MoveAfrica launched in 2016 by NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) aims to identify and align "smart" infrastructure issues to reduce transport costs along corridors and to promote a multi-sectoral and global approach for the development of the corridor. For example, One-Stop Border Posts (OSBP) border crossing systems in Eastern and Southern Africa and Joint Border Posts (JBPs) in West Africa are being introduced across Africa. Thus, the PIDA recommended that all transport corridors in Africa be transformed into smart corridors in order to reduce this cost. It is also a question of complying multimodal corridors with modern standards: to put in place the regional regimes of customs guarantee, documents harmonized customs, sharing of customs information, interconnection of customs systems and authorized economic operators (AEO) and the installation of electronic goods traceability systems (ECTS) along the corridor. The vision of the 2025 PAP for corridors is to transform 25 transport corridors out of a total of 47 corridors in Africa into smart corridors. FREIGHT TRANSPORT: Africa: towards an interconnection of customs IT systems?


    In short, the construction of corridors has been a strong trend over the last ten years, inducing major changes: port facilities have developed, container terminals have been put in concession, customs administrations have been restructured and computerized, etc.  The PIDA (Infrastructure Development Program in Africa) promotes overall projects for the continent, starting with the modernization of multimodal corridors.

    It is an entire dynamic of integration and interconnection of territories that is accelerating today.





    AUTEUR : Aurélie KOUASSI

    STATUT : Web journaliste

    DATE DE PARUTION : 10-04-2018

    TYPE : Dossier

    N° : 03-2018

    SOURCES : file:///C:/Users/hp/Downloads/Trad_MoveAfrica_030516.pdf