Transport, infrastructural development stimulate industrialisation and modernisation

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The transport and infrastructural development sectors play a key role in the industrialization and modernization of Zimbabwe, Advocate Jacob F. N. Mudenda, the Speaker of Parliament has said.

The Speaker made the remarks at the Induction Workshop for the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development held at Kadoma Hotel and Conference Centre from 12-15 April 2024.

The workshop was aimed at capacitating the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development so that each member of the Committee can contribute effectively and to the best of each one’s ability in discharging the Committee’s oversight, legislative, and representation responsibilities.

The Committee’s task is colossal and pervasive as it underpins cross-cutting sectors comprising energy, water, and sanitation as well as the transport ecosystem undergirded by Information Communication Technology (ICT) as enshrined in the National Development Strategy1 in Chapter 6, pages 110 to 134.

“In guiding the crafting of our National Development Strategy 1, His Excellency, the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa demonstrated that he was alive to the pivotal role of an efficient transport and infrastructural development sector as the key artery in the industrialization and modernization of Zimbabwe. The President’s vision is anchored on the recognition of the pointed “DECLARATION ON INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICA” (PIDA) adopted at the 18th African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2012, PIDA is the continental master plan for infrastructure development in transport, energy, transboundary water, and Information &Communication Technology (ICT) for the period 2012-2040.

“PIDA provides a strategic framework for priority projects to transform Africa by constructing modern infrastructure to strengthen Africa’s competitiveness and integration into the global economy. Under the auspices of the African Union, PIDA is jointly coordinated by the African Union Commission (AUC), AUDS-NEPAD, The African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). PIDA stands out from previous regional infrastructure integration initiatives because it is based on a shared vision of regional integration and long-term goals.

“It consolidates continental infrastructure initiatives and fills gaps by providing practical and affordable priority projects aligned with Africa’s long-term development goals. PIDA emphasizes the importance of local ownership, diverse financing, and sound implementation strategies to ensure effective investments. Our President wants Zimbabwe to be at the epicenter of this visionary continental development by appealing to all Zimbabweans to be part and parcel of this national development agenda in the context of PIDA,”: Hon Mudenda said.

Zimbabwe has embraced the Africa Agenda 2063 which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of Africa and was adopted by the African Union in 2013.

Hon Mudenda said the Committee must appreciate and domesticate its understanding of the rationale of Agenda 2063 in so far as it impacts on transport and infrastructural development in Zimbabwe.

The Committee needs to know that Agenda 2063 acknowledges the pivotal importance of an efficient transportation system for facilitating trade, promoting regional integration, and enhancing mobility within Africa.

The Agenda 2063 framework prioritizes the development of transportation infrastructure, including road networks, railways, maritime ports, and airports to improve connectivity and reduce transportation costs. Furthermore, special attention is given to enhancing the efficiency and reliability of transportation services, streamlining cross-border transit procedures, and implementing transit facilitation measures to facilitate smoother movement of goods and people across African borders.

Agenda 2063 recognizes that modern and efficient infrastructure is crucial for Africa’s socio-economic transformation. This includes transportation infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, airports), energy infrastructure (power generation and distribution), ICT infrastructure (broadband networks), and water infrastructure.

“We need to stress that the framework aims at bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap by promoting investment in priority sectors, fostering public-private partnerships and enhancing regional cooperation to develop cross-border infrastructure projects. To that an extent, infrastructure development is seen as a catalyst for promoting intra-African trade, enhancing connectivity between African countries, and accelerating economic growth and development across the continent.

“Pointedly, Agenda 2063 also emphasizes the need to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation solutions, such as promoting the use of renewable energy sources and integrating climate resilience into infrastructure planning and development,” he added.