SADC Ministers responsible for Transport and Meteorology met on October 16th 2013 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to review progress in the implementation of the transport and meteorology programmes and projects provided for in Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology.
The meeting was attended by 13 SADC Member States, namely, Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Continental, Sub Regional Organisations and Corridors Management Institutions were also in attendance. On Air Transport and Civil Aviation, progress was noted in the implementation of various Air Transport/Civil Aviation programmes, including the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) in SADC and within the Tripartite Framework of the Common Market of Easter and Southern Africa, East African Community and SADC. In this regard, progress was noted on the development of legal and institutional framework for the operationalisation of the Joint Competition Authority (JCA).
The ministers also noted progress in the approving of the draft charter and consideration of interim measures for administrative arrangements to establish the SADC Aviation Safety Organisation interim Secretariat.
On the SADC Upper Airspace Control Centre (UACC) Project and harmonisation of Air Navigation Regulations, the meeting noted progress in collaborative efforts on developing a strategy for implementing the UACC Project between the SADC Directorates of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and Infrastructure and Services. The meeting urged Member States to undertake consultations and collaborate with relevant stakeholders at national level for consensus and a strategy to expedite implementation of the Project. The Secretariat was directed to convene meetings of SADC-UACC stakeholders during the 2013/2014 fiscal year to develop a Project implementation strategy and roadmap.
On the Management (CNS/ATM) Project, the establishment, in Kigali, Rwanda of the Tripartite
PROGRESS IN TRANSPORT AND METEOROLOGYCNS/ATM Systems Project Implementation Unit (PIU) was noted.
On Surface Transport, progress was noted in the 18 SADC regional transport corridors on infrastructure development, harmonisation of transport and trade facilitation policies, laws and regulations and the development of joint corridor management institutions, in including upgrading the following border crossings to One Stop Border Post (OSBP):
d)Lebombo/Ressano Garcia (South Afica /Mozambique);
e)Katima Mulilo/ Sesheke (Zambia/Namibia);
h)Songwe/Kasumulu (Malawi/Tanzania); and
j)Forbes/Machipanda (Zimbabwe/Mozambique) ; and
k)Chirundu (Zambia/Zimbabwe) operational.
The meeting was briefed on the construction of the multinational Kazungula Bridge and OSBP across the Zambezi River on the North South Corridor which is expected to commence in 2014 and be completed by 2018 at a cost estimate of USD 259.30 million. This will be co-financed by the governments of Botswana and Zambia, the African Development Bank and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Security incidences along sections of the NSC in DRC which are affecting transport operators and drivers and reports on NTBs at Kasumbalesa border post were also discussed. The ministers expressed serious concern over the developments and directed the Secretariat to engage officials in DRC and submit a report for consideration by Ministers responsible for NSC.On-going work to define maritime corridors to link the SADC island states of Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles to continental SADC and global markets and the refinement and rationalisation of regional transport corridors were also noted.
On the Meteorology Sector, it was noted that the SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC) had contributed to strengthening early warning systems by providing long-lead climate outlooks within the framework of the Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forums (SARCOFs) and the need sustain it through budgetary provisions by Member States was emphasised.Strides made by the Meteorological Association of Southern Africa (MASA) in areas of training were noted and Member States urged to support it by assenting to its Constitution and making budgetary provisions for the managing of its Secretariat.Quality Management Systems that bind the National Meteorological Services to be certified to 9001:ISO 2008 in conformity with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements whose deadline expired November 2011 was noted as needing urgent attention because only seven Member States have been ISO certified.
Strengthening the Meteorology Sector in order to accelerate socio-economic development was also noted, in particular, the capacitating the SADC Climate Services Centre to deliver on its mandate as the Region continues to grapple with extremes in climate variations exacerbated by impacts of climate change.Member States were also urged to redouble their efforts to implement the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) through project development, construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in order to address the current and projected network constraints.The Ministers expressed appreciation of efforts by International Cooperating Partners to strengthen the Transport and Meteorology Sector in the region by providing resources such as funding and technical support.