Staff Reporter Windhoek-The Roads Authority (RA) has confirmed that Namibia was once again accorded the top position of having the best roads in Africa by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The results were released via the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2017/18, which tracks the performance of approximately 140 countries on 12 pillars of competitiveness, including the quality of road infrastructure development. The development of road infrastructure has been identified as one of the main catalysts for economic development. Namibia tops the list of African countries in the category of road infrastructure development with an impressive score of 5.2 out of 7, above Ecuador, Bahrain, Qatar and Great Britain which all scored 5.1. The only other African countries to make it to the top 50 list were South Africa and Rwanda with a score of 5.0 each followed by Mauritius with a 4.7 score. The United Arab Emirates took the overall top position with a remarkable 6.5 score. Since the establishment of the Roads Authority in April 2000, the organization has continued to play a vital role in the socio-economic development of Namibia, and in particular the advancement of previously neglected areas in the country. The expansion of the road network has already started to bear fruit as many of the communities in Namibia have access to the main centres of the country. Also, Namibia’s road network continues to contribute to the economic growth of other SADC countries. Namibia is the only country in SADC that has well-developed and functioning corridors such as the Trans-Caprivi Corridor that links Namibia with Zambia, Zimbabwe and DRC, the Trans-Kalahari Highway that links Botswana and South Africa’s industrial hub (Gauteng) to Namibia and the Trans-Kunene Corridor that links Namibia with Angola and the DRC via the port of Walvis Bay. All these corridors continue to play a pivotal role in the economic development of SADC. “This accolade is a re-affirmation of the efforts made by the RA to continue to develop our road infrastructure and to ensure that it is on par with global standards. I would, therefore, like to express our sincere gratitude to our government for the visionary leadership and for continuously availing funds for road infrastructure development,” Conrad Mutonga Lutombi, RA CEO noted. Lutombi also expressed his gratitude to stakeholders such as the Road Fund Administration, the municipalities and all road users for their contribution towards this praiseworthy achievement. “We pride ourselves on this important recognition and see it as a measure of not only how far we have come and achieved but also as a re-assurance that we are on the right path in our mission to manage a safe and efficient national road network to support economic growth in line with the National Development Plans (NDP), Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and Vision 2030,” he said. The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation based in Geneva. The forum is recognized by the Swiss authorities as the international institution for public-private cooperation and its mission is cited as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.
2018-02-13 09:26:28 7 months ago