Logistics Hub for SADC Envisaged

A STATE-OF-THE-ART logistics hub for Southern African countries is envisaged in Namibia, next year.

Ida Ndjarakana from the National Planning Commission said that the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) has identified the logistics industry as one of the economic priorities, an area in which Namibia is said to have a clear comparative aantage and thus a need was identified for the “logistics hub for Southern Africa”.

She made these remarks during the information session on Namibia as a logistics hub concept at Oshakati, on Wednesday.

“The current NDP4 aims to increase its gears in the future with at least 9.0% as it is focusing on prioritisation,” said Ndjarakana.

During the NDP4 2013-2014, the unemployment rate stood at 20%, compared to 27% during NDP4 2012-2013.

The improved income equality in 2010 was at 0.59 and in 2017 it aims to stand at around 0.49, while it aims to be around 0.30 in 2030.

A representative from the Ministry of Works and Transport, Leena Endjala, said that the ministry intends to embrace all modes of transport in order to mitigate the challenges of high traffic congestion and improve the roads infrastructure.

“We are having a high challenge of sea ports at the moment. We want people to start making use of sea ports by using ships when traveling to other countries in future because we want to embrace all modes of transport soon,” said Endjala.

The intended logistics hub is estimated to cost the government about N$45 billion.

Endjala said that the money is not yet available and thus the ministry is encouraging all the private entities to invest towards the realisation of the hub.

She said that the hub will make transport easier and fewer road accidents would be recorded.

Endjala further said that the ministry wants the public to be rightfully informed on the idea of the hub.

Clive Smith, a representative from Walvis Bay Corridor Group, said the hub will be beneficial in many ways such as high safety and security, reduce reliance on South African imports and attract industries to the region.

Currently, the stakeholders are working on the formulation of the master plan, as the construction is intended to commence next January.

The South African route which is currently the biggest with 33% transhipment, is expected to be the main route for the logistics hub.

TransNamib Holdings wants that by 2017 Namibia must to have a well-functioning, high quality transport infrastructure connected to major local and regional markets as well as links to the port of Walvis Bay.

A 70% railway network to comply with the southern African axle load recommendation of 18.5 tonnes is also expected.

Source : The Namibian