Africa's transport challenge must be approached holistically - CNBC Africa

Africa's transport challenge must be approached holistically

Special Report

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"African leaders need to come up with a consolidated master plan for an intermodal transport system as transport remains a great obstacle to Africa's growth," Tambi, transport infrastructure expert at the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) agency said on Wednesday.

He said that internmodal planning involves the integration of various modes of transport such as pipelines, roads, ports and railways. 

“When people think about transport in Africa, they automatically think of either roads or railways. We should not look at them as independent entities as they complement each other.”

Africans are still locked into the old way of thinking of transport systems that were given to them during the colonial times. Tambi stated that it’s important that they steer away from this outdated mind set.

“We must also remember that transport systems that work on other continents, may not necessarily work for Africa,” he added. 

At present, Tambi coordinates the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI). The project sees eight African countries on the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) working together to implement regional and cross-border infrastructure projects.

PICI aims to attract investments and enhance regional integration in Africa. The initiative follows the progress of several infrastructure projects across Africa and sets deadlines for each project to be completed.

“In the next 5 years, hopefully most of the projects we’re planning now will be implemented and they will no longer be abstract but more of a reality. I am positive that by then, we will be looking at infrastructure in Africa in a different way,” Tambi concluded.

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