SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Livingstone
MINISTER of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela says there is need for reliable transport infrastructure if Zambia is to attain trade competitiveness in Africa and the world at large.
Mr Chitotela said transport infrastructure is cardinal to the prosperity of any nation.
“Today, most governments have realised that prosperity of any nation lies partly in the effective management of the transportation sector, including the adoption of innovations and new technologies,” he said.
He was speaking during the official opening of the 8th Africa Transportation Technology Transfer (T2) conference in Livingstone yesterday held under the theme ‘Linking Africa through Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Development’.
The conference was held under the auspices of the Association of Southern Africa National Road Agencies (ASANRA). Zambia is hosting the meeting for the first time.
Mr Chitotela said stakeholders in the transport sector must advise Government on what should be done to develop effective integrated transportation systems which are safe, efficient, reliable, affordable and beneficial to the country.
“Conference participants must share experiences on best practices on technology transfer in the provision, maintenance and management of all modes of transport and related infrastructure for the benefit of Africa and the world at large,” he said.
And speaking at the same function, Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale said the province is a conduit of various goods and services that are critical to facilitating regional trade and integration.
Mr Hamukale said Government is aware of the strategic location of Southern Province and has invested in transport infrastructure to strategically position the province for economic development.
And speaking earlier, ASANRA president Conrod Lutombi said the conference was held to help link Africa through sustainable transport infrastructure development.
Speaking in a speech read by ASANRA committee chairman Mussa Mataka, Mr Lutombi said the availability of quality transport infrastructure has long been recognised as a critical input to productivity and competitiveness.
“Inadequate infrastructure has raised the transaction costs of business in most African economies,” he said.