Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Eyes of the world on NEPAD - Transport Summit in JHB NEPAD Transport Summit // 25 – 26 November 2009 // Gallagher Convention Centre
The eyes of the world’s transport specialists will be on South Africa on 25-26 November when official observers from North and South America, the European Union and Japan join decision-makers from across Africa and senior executives from the private sector at the inaugural NEPAD Transport Summit at the Gallagher convention centre in Midrand. The summit will seek ways to prioritise, develop and fast-track Africa’s cross-border networks in all forms of transport — road, rail, air and sea ports — to promote trade, investment and growth through the integration of national action plans and national economies.
The 53-nation African Union sees this regional integration, through its NEPAD programme, as the key in its efforts to eradicate the continent’s chronic problems of hunger and poverty. The summit will be officially opened by the CEO of the NEPAD Secretariat, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, a former Prime Minister of Niger, and delegates will be welcomed by the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Dr Jean Ping, a veteran Gabon diplomat and Deputy Prime Minister.
" Africa is on the move and we must now speed up the momentum so that we can stimulate economic growth and interdependence by helping countries open up and share their trade links with their neighbours," Dr Mayaki said this week.
Among the many distinguished speakers who will contribute to the summit debate Dr Juan Gaviria, lead transport economist in the World Bank’s sustainable development department, will talk on the current state of Africa’s transport networks.
Ambassador Lodewijk Briet, who leads the European Commission delegation in South Africa, will give the EU perspective on regional integration in Africa.
The NEPAD concept of a new East-West transport corridor across the centre of the continent to augment the already established North-South corridor will be outlined by the Gambia’s Adama Deen, NEPAD Secretariat head of infrastructure, who will also talk on the role of NEPAD in infrastructure development and integration.
Implementation of the Yamoussoukro "open skies" decision to liberalise intra-Africa scheduled and non-scheduled air services and to regulate air traffic control and safety will be discussed by NEPAD’s Dr. John Tambi from Liberia. He is a licensed commercial pilot and a former executive in the management of airports, ports and transportation facilities for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He is also a consultant to the International Civil Aviation Organisation and UN headquarters in New York.
The growth and importance of transport logistics in Africa affecting road, rail and ports will be covered by South African logistics management authority Abrie de Swardt. The summit is being structured so that each day starts with a plenary session covering the broad situation. The afternoons will be devoted to hammering out the details in sector-specific parallel sessions.
The main focus of the discussions will be on Africa’s key cross-border arteries and regional transport corridors and their importance in the integration process. The aim is also to cut red tape and streamline and greatly speed up border formalities. The summit is the first of what is expected to become an annual event taking place in rotation in Africa’s main regional transport hubs.
The African countries that will be taking part in the NEPAD Transport Summit 2009 include Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia. Official observers will be present from the European Investment Bank, the European Union, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), USAID and from Canada, France and the Netherlands.
In addition to discussions and debate the summit will showcase the countries involved in the transport networks and regional transport corridors. They will display their products, services and business and trade potential in the African Transport, Trade and Investment Expo (ATTIEX).
Source : Cape Media and NEPAD, november 24, 2009