26th October 2017, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: The high ratio of landlocked countries, the long distances to gateway ports, the lack of an integrated and liberalised road transport market in the East and Southern African region pose numerous obstacles and impediments to trade.
These challenges cause severe delays, increase transport costs, endanger road safety and negatively affect the durability of road transport infrastructure. This has resulted in the region recording high transport costs. This state of affairs is reflected in poor and low scores for Tripartite countries in poor ranking in global and regional indices that measure performance of the transport and logistics sector. Poor road transport sector performance retards economic growth and regional integration.
The TTTFP overall strategic objective is to facilitate the development of a more competitive, integrated and liberalised regional road transport market in the Tripartite region. Its purpose is to develop and implement harmonised road transport policies, laws, regulations and standards for efficient cross border road transport and transit networks, transport and logistics services, systems and procedures in the Tripartite region. The TTTFP expected results are:
Result 1: Tripartite Vehicle Load Management Strategy Implemented.
Result 2: Harmonised Tripartite vehicle regulations and standards implemented
Result 3: Preconditions for an operational EA-SA transport registers and information platform and system implemented
Result 4: Efficiency of regional transport corridors improved
The TTTFP is designed to assist the continental countries of the Tripartite (COMESA. EAC and SADC). In addition, the Djibouti, Northern, Central, Dar es Salaam, Nacala, Beira, Maputo, North South and Lobito corridors which serve the 11 landlocked/land-linked countries amongst the 21 participating countries in the Tripartite region, will also be supported.
The TTTFP is funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund Infrastructure envelope. The total funding for the TTTFP is Euro 18 million. This funding comes from the soft infrastructure component of the Euro 600 million that the EU is providing to the Tripartite for infrastructure projects which includes road infrastructure.
The programme seeks to help countries close the gaps between the current status in each country relative to the Tripartite harmonisation requirements (the set of harmonised road transport policies, laws, regulations, standards and systems agreed and adopted by Tripartite Member/Partner States) as determined by baseline surveys.
The baseline survey reports prepared for each country individually indicate the extent of compliance with the baseline requirements by each of the Tripartite member countries surveyed.
The TTTFP was designed and developed to help each Member/Partner State to close the identified gaps by means of technical assistance (TA), training and capacity building to institutions provided through the programme. The gaps relate to laws, policies, regulations, standards and system regulating inter-state (cross border) transport with respect to vehicles, drivers, professional drivers and operators with respect to enabling legislation, standards, training, testing, facilities, computerised registers and systems, vehicle load management, third party insurance, voluntary compliance, law enforcement, and exchange of information.
The entire project hinges on the Tripartite states signing and implementing the Vehicle Load Management Memorandum of Understanding (VLM MOU), and the Multilateral Cross Border Road Transport Agreement (MCBRTA) as the primary legal instruments to drive the harmonisation of related regulations, standards and systems. The TTTFP will provide the technical assistance for the domestication of a range of laws and standards, such as Vehicle Dimensions and Equipment, Vehicle Load Control, Dangerous Goods, Vehicle Fitness Testing, Driver Training and Testing, and Operator responsibility for quality of operations.
The implementation of these measures will enable the Tripartite countries to create a more competitive, integrated and liberalised regional road transport market with fair competition. Furthermore, the regulation by quantity is changed to the regulation of quality of road transport in the region, with the concomitant increase in road transport efficiency and reduction in transport costs and transit times along the transport corridors.
The fact of the matter is that harmonisation cannot be introduced in absence of the supporting statutory framework in the form of enabling legislation. Consequently, the TTTFP will develop Model Laws covering spectrum of baseline harmonisation for guidance; and framework for common systems and exchange of information amongst member states. The programme will provide technical assistance to countries to assist in domestication of Model Laws or amendment of current laws so that the countries have a domesticated basis for enforcing the harmonized laws.
The following model laws will be developed under the TTTFP:
The following support will be provided to selected member states, corridor institutions and other stakeholders:
The TTTFP principal stakeholders are:
A monitoring and evaluation system has been developed based on the baseline survey. The M and E strategy and plan shall track and measure the pace of policy and regulatory convergence. The M and E reporting system shall include a Ministerial Dashboard that allows Ministers to see and evaluate the performance of their country along multiple dimensions against the performance of other Tripartite countries.
The Tripartite Sectoral Committee of Ministers of Infrastructure at their inaugural meeting on 26th October 2017, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania officially launched the
the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP) and appointed Hon. Agrey Henry Bagiire, Minister of Transport and Works, Uganda as the Champion of the TTTFP. The role of the TTTFP Champion is to promote the TTTFP and raise its visibility especially in regional and international platforms and networks. The TTTFP Champion will periodically report the progress of the Programme to the Tripartite Council of Ministers (TCM) and the Tripartite Summit.
Minister also made the following decisions;
(i) endorsed the TTTFP which is designed to accelerate the pace of harmonisation of laws, policies, regulations, standards and systems that affect cross border road transport in the east and southern African region;
(ii) noted the progress on the harmonization of cross border road transport laws, policies, regulations, standards and systems that affect drivers, vehicles and loads;
(iii) urged respective ministries, government agencies and private sector stakeholders to participate in the implementation of the program;
(iv) directed the COMESA, EAC and SADC Secretariats to finalise the harmonisation of outstanding instruments, standards and regulations in collaboration with national and continental stakeholders such as the African Union Commission;