As African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, we have learnt Africa is striving to be included with the developed continents due to its poor transportation links. This is due to the fact that most of the 54 nations on the African continent lack connected roads and rail linkages between neighboring countries causing the continent to lose on the cross border trade and other economic activities.
Français Résumé: Le fait de ne pas avoir de routes goudronnées va bien au-delà d’un impact sur la meilleure apparence d’un pays. Le mauvais réseau routier augmente le coût des produits car il est coûteux de les transporter d’un endroit à l’autre. Alors qu’exporter un conteneur de Hong Kong ne prend que 5 jours et coûte environ 575 dollars, il faudrait 12 jours pour exporter un conteneur d’Égypte au prix de 625 dollars. D'après un rapport de 2014 de la Banque mondiale, le transport d'un conteneur en provenance de l'Angola prend plus d'un mois.
Not having paved roads goes way much more than affecting the better look of a country. Poor road network increases cost of products as it’s expensive to transport them from one place to the other. While to export a container from Hong Kong will only take 5 days and cost about $575, it would take 12 days to export a container from Egypt at a price of $625. The price tag triplicates and the voyage takes over a month to move a container from Angola says a 2014 World Bank report.
Why the continental transport infrastructural status?
Africa’s lengthy low investment in transportation has resulted in dilapidated transport infrastructure. African countries on average invested only 15% to 25% of GDP in transport infrastructure over the period 2005–2012, while India and China invested about 32% and 42% of their GDP in the same period, says PIDA for a good comparison. This low investment has caused Africa’s considerably higher comparative transport fees by as much as 100% than in other developing countries.
What Tanzania and Mozambique are working on their connectivity issue?
To further improve the transport of goods between the countries, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved USD 71.8 million grant and USD 3.1m loan in December 2016 to the Government of Mozambique to improve road connectivity with Tanzania.
The road segment Mueda – Negomano in Northern Mozambique has been representing a missing link on the transport corridor between Mozambique and Tanzania.
AfDB is now financing the paving of the road for phase 1 that just kicked off on the 2nd of October, 2018, which includes the construction of an asphalted road section which starts at Negomano, located adjacent to the Ruvuma River, the natural frontier with Tanzania. The section ends in the locality of Roma.
Laying the first stone at a recent ground-breaking ceremony, Filipe Nyusi, president of Mozambique, said, “This road will promote formal national and trans-frontier commerce with the neighbouring Tanzania and consequently contribute to poverty eradication.” This marked the beginning of work on a historic project: a 165km metalled road that will directly link Mozambique with its northern neighbor.
The 165km road between Mueda and Negomano in the north-east of Mozambique is part of a larger project to construct the National Road Number One (EN1), running from Rovuma in the north-east to Maputo in the southern region of Ponta do Ouro, which has been completed in the south and is undergoing repairs in the central region of Mozambique.
The trade between Tanzania and Mozambique?
In 2013, Mozambique imports from Tanzanian reached USD 63 million worth of goods, including mainly textile, tobacco and low-cost manufactured products. During the same year, Mozambique exported to Tanzania reached USD 75.4 million worth of goods to Tanzania, including mainly surveying equipment and machinery.
Expectations from the ongoing linking road pavement project
The improvement of the road will reduce from three (3) hours to one (1) hour the time to travel between the two localities (Tanzania – Mozambique).
The first phase will be complemented by a second one, planned to start in 2019, which will connect Roma to Mueda and includes the construction of a One Stop Border Post (OSBP).
“The project is key for traders and road users, who transport goods between Tanzania and Mozambique. Following the completion, they will benefit from more direct and shorter journeys to the ports of Pemba in Mozambique and Mtwara in Tanzania, effectively enhancing regional trade” said AfDB Chief Transport Engineer, Aymen Osmannn Wednesday 7 Ali.
As Africa Mobilities Observatory, we believe improving this difficulty to connect Africa has caught the attention of head of states and the African Union focus to create effective and integrated transport network, to enhance trade among the African countries.
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN