30 Jan 2019 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JAN (NAMPA) Namibias road sector has increased the road network from 42 000 kilometres (kms) in 1990 to 48 000 km by 2018.
This was revealed by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the Africa Road Maintenance Fund Association (ARMFA) meeting for the Southern Focal Group here on Wednesday.
Schlettwein said the major of this growth has been on the bitumen sealed roads.
These and the continuous investment in the upkeep of our road network enabled Namibia incubate quality road infrastructure that is ranked at 28th place globally out of the 140 countries assessed in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, he explained.
He however said maintaining the road network is not cheap, with N. dollars 1.2 billion programmed for road maintenance alone in the 2018/19 financial year.
This roughly translates to the maintenance expenditure of N. dollars 76 000 per km of bitumen road and N. dollars 11 000 per km of gravel road, he added.
In response to the need to promote trade and economic growth through the road network, Schlettwein highlighted that Namibia has in particular invested heavily in improving the various transport corridors such as Trans Zambezi, Trans Kunene and Trans Kalahari.
Namibia has also invested in the expansion and deepening of the major Port of Walvis Bay so as to ensure efficient intermodal transport to and from the region, he noted.
Formerly land locked countries have become land linked countries through improved road networks and dry ports.
We serve as a logistic hub for the sub-region, enabling traders and investor community to reach to and from the greater Southern African Development Community and international markets, the Finance Minister boasted.
He went on to say that amongst some of the flagship road projects that Namibia is currently undertaking are the construction of dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja, Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport, Swakopmund to Walvis Bay and Swakopmund to Henties Bay eventually linking to Kamanjab.
The completion of these projects will greatly improve traffic mobility, road safety and movements of goods, he said.
The ARMFA comprises of 34 member countries and they are grouped into four Focal Groups which are West Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa and East Africa.