"The African Union Development Agency-NEPADdeveloped the Traffic Light System under the MoveAfrica banner in order to address some of the challenges faced along the transport and logistics corridors and Border Posts, such as excessive road checkpoints, bureaucratic procedures and inadequate road and logistics infrastructure" said Snowden Mmadi, AUDA-NEPAD Infrastructure Expert.
Snowden was addressing delegates attending the workshop on the Sensitisation of the Traffic Light System (TLS) in the ECOWAS Region.
The TLS has so far been piloted in four selected border posts: 1. Beit bridge (border between South Africa and Zimbabwe; 2.Chirundu: border between Zambia and Zimbabwe; 3. Kazungula: border between Botswana and South Africa and Kasumbalesa: the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. Performance of these pilot border posts are ranked and necessary corrective actions documented for replication to other border post. It is in this regard that AUDA-NEPAD has extended the TLS tool to two ECOWAS border posts the Seme-Krake- border between Nigeria and Benin the Noepe – border between Ghana and Togo- both border posts are along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor.
The meeting brought together various experts from Transport Ministries, Immigration and Customs and Border officials from Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, ECOWAS Commission. Together with experts from the pilot countries in SADC.
Participants used the opportunity to share experiences on progress made in tracking trade facilitation instruments and instruments meant to enhance border operational efficiencies. The workshop also served as a platform for cross fertilization of processes between the Tripartite free Trade Area and ECOWAS. In the Tripartite Free Trade Area, AUDA-NEPAD is playing in working with the pilot countries to develop a harmonized process flow for Authorised Economic Operators as a corrective action.
“The objective of this meeting is to sensitize the focal persons assigned in ECOWAS and the four kick off countries along the Abidjan Lagos Corridor about the Traffic Light System. By virtue of brining the focal countries from the North South Corridor in SADC and COMESA, to be part of this process is clearly underpinning the softer side of Regional Integration as demonstrated through the work that AUDA-NEPAD is doing through MoveAfrica said Kisa Nkhoma, AUDA-NEPAD Officer responsible for MoveAfrica.
The team will finalise the first segment of the workshop and proceed with a visit to Noepe Border Post between Ghana and Togo and Seme – Krake Border Post between Nigeria and Benin over the next three days.
Since the launch of MoveAfrica, AUDA-NEPAD has been focusing on the developing a tool called Traffic Light System (TLS) to rank and track the ability of the continent to move goods and services. The TLS monitors and evaluates performance of trade facilitation along the transport and trade corridors. It looks at the simplification, standardization and harmonization of border crossing procedures and transport regulations.