Nam has potential to be SADC logistics hub of repute: Alweendo

20 Sep 2014 10:30am
WINDHOEK, 20 SEP (NAMPA) – Great opportunities exist for Namibia to position itself as a logistics hub of repute in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and beyond.
The Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Tom Alweendo made this observation during the third annual Corporate Social Investment summit hosted here by the Civil Society Foundation of Namibia (CSFN) on Thursday.
In a statement delivered on his behalf by the NPC’s Chief National Development Advisor, Willem Goeieman, Alweendo said in order to realise this, transport and communications infrastructure needs to be upgraded.
“The port of Walvis Bay has to be expanded to cater for the envisaged growth and therefore a National Logistics Master Plan that provides a detailed future image of Namibia as an international logistics and distribution centre by identifying key policy measures and strategies, has to be developed,” he stressed.
Alweendo said the government of Japan has agreed to provide technical support for the development of a master plan on this project. Consultants arrived in Namibia in February 2014 and started with the consultation process. The consultants’ work is guided by a steering committee which is chaired by the NPC and comprises representatives from the Ministries of Works and Transport, Trade and Industry and Finance; the Walvis Bay Corridor Group and five State-Owned Enterprises within the transport and logistics sector. These are TransNamib, Namport, the Roads Authority, Namibia Airports Company (NAC) and Air Namibia.
In order to make this dream a reality and create sustainable employment opportunities, Alweendo suggested that Government should pool all efforts to develop an integrated and coordinated national infrastructure master plan.
The plan should include holistic upgrading and maintenance of all modes of transport; development of regional logistic hubs with state-of the-art storage facilities in towns across the corridor routes; building adequate skills to run logistics hubs; and the strengthening of the framework for public-private-partnership funding in order to encourage investment in logistics.
The plan should also include information on international and bilateral agreements to facilitate trade at border posts by setting up one-stop border posts, and the marketing of Namibia as a logistics hub.
Alweendo further noted that one of the desired outcomes stipulated in the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) is the enabling of Namibia to become a regional leader in logistics and distribution. This is based on the realisation that Namibia is strategically positioned to function as a trade route to and from the entire southern Africa region.
“Our transport and communications infrastructure remains competitive, and the port of Walvis Bay remains one of Africa’s most efficient and best equipped,” he said.
The summit, which took place under the theme ‘Enhancing synergies for social development’, ended on Friday.