Second IRF Africa Regional Congress underway in the capital

11 Jul 2017 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 JUL (NAMPA) – Namibia is hosting the second International Road Federation (IRF) Africa Regional Congress, with over 100 delegates from across the globe registered to attend.
The three-day congress, hosted by the Roads Authority of Namibia, aims to help policymakers, planners and infrastructure operators from across Africa and beyond to translate challenges into concrete policies and plans.
Officially opening the event Tuesday, Works and Transport Minister Alpheus !Naruseb noted how one of Namibia’s main priorities is to maintain the existing road infrastructure to avoid deterioration.
The country also aims to develop the road network in previously neglected areas and to upgrade road links in and around the country.
!Naruseb expressed how the platform provided by the congress complements these goals as it will assist and promote road safety in the country.
“I am also entirely pleased with the progress which has been made with the road construction projects forming part of the Trans-Zambezi Highway, which is a vital link along the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi development corridor,” he added.
He said the overall objective of the Trans-Zambezi Highway is to provide Namibia with an all-weather transport route eastward to connect with the road networks of landlocked countries: Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In spite of these noteworthy milestones, the minister expressed concern towards road safety as one of the major challenges in the transportation industry of Namibia.
He said that regardless of efforts of custodians to promote road safety, the desired results have not been achieved.
!Naruseb said that for the country to succeed, action should be taken across a range of areas, including adopting better road engineering, data systems, strengthening enforcement capacity, and adopting more comprehensive traffic safety laws.
IRF Vice-President Mike Dreznes described regional congresses such as this one as valuable platforms where regional and international transportation experts discuss and offer solutions to growing infrastructure and mobility challenges.
He added that the IRF’s vision meets the African continent’s need to develop the technical and managerial capacity of its road professionals.
The workshop held under the theme ‘Sustainable Transport Practices: Tools for Modern Connectivity’ ends Thursday.