Infrastructure

The state of the infrastructure has a direct contribution to the cost of doing business and competitiveness of firms regionally and internationally. In recognition of this, the EAC and Partner States governments have undertaken several joint projects to address the poor state of the infrastructure, in the following areas:

Energy Sector
The Energy sector in East African is characterised by very high energy prices, insufficient and unreliable supply of power and very low rates of electrification. The EAC is seeking, through the East African Power Master Plan, to improve the power situation by having a fully integrated power sector. (Read more…)

Road Transport
During the Strategic Retreat of the East African Community Ministers in April 2008, it was reported that 52% of the region’s road network is in poor condition, with poor maintenance and poor level of service. This increases the operating costs of business due to long transit times and long turn-around times, frequent need for repairs and lengthy clearance procedures among others. (Read More…)

Air Transport
The EAC region has 9 international airports – 3 in Kenya, 3 in Tanzania and 1 each in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda and several regional and local airstrips. Under CASSOA, an institution of the EAC, there is joint effort accelerate the process of harmonisation of aviation legislations and regulations in the region is actively involved……..

Ports
The region has 2 ports – in Dar es Salaam, run by the Tanzania Port Authority and Mombasa – run by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Although both ports experience problems such as delays and congestion, both are committed to improved service and have incorporated a 24 hour / 7 days a week service delivery. In addition, there are plans to have more terminal facilities, carry out modernisation in terms of computerising of the container handling systems, improve documentation and cargo clearance, cargo verification and scanning, among others. (Read more)

Communications
The East African region has witnessed improved Communications (services and facilities), especially with the advent of mobile telephony, with over 25 million users regionally. Internet usage has also improved, as has broadband connectivity. There are also joint efforts to improve the region’s connectivity with the rest of the world through initiatives like the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) which seeks to connect eastern Africa via high bandwidth fibre optic cable.

Railway
The current railway systems (Kenya Railways / Rift Valley Consortium, Tanzania Railways / Tazara) are antiquated and are over 100 years old. In addition, there is no urban rail and no significant new/efficient inter-urban rail. However, there has been effort to improve the railway systems, with the partial privatisation of the Kenya-Uganda rail (joint) and the Tanzania railway. Already, Tazara has carried out some improvement on the system and made some expansion.

There is need to consistently and speedily address infrastructure constraints given their contribution to business competitiveness. EABC has been vocal in lobbying for the following:

That a timetable of implementing the planned developments be agreed, for both medium and long term plans; with measurable deliverables along the process.
That a clear framework for participation of Private Sector in infrastructure development, which clearly spells out the respective roles of the public and private sector and establishes an adequate regulatory mechanism to manage PPP investments efficiently, should be established and mainstreamed in all infrastructure plans.

Energy Sector
In the Energy Sector, which is characterised by very high energy prices, insufficient and unreliable supply of power and very low rates of electrification, the EAC is seeking, through the East African Power Master Plan, to improve the power situation by having a fully integrated power sector.

The Plan proposes to create an East Africa Power Grid through interconnection of the national grids and to establish an East African Power Pool, which will establish the technicalities of automatic sharing of power generation, transmission and distribution and management.

The plan also seeks to harmonise policies of rural electrification. This Plan will ensure uninterrupted power supply to operations in production and provision of services across sectors. This will eventually bring down the cost of power and ultimately, enhance the competitiveness of businesses in the region.

Road Transport
During the Strategic Retreat of the East African Community Ministers in April 2008, it was reported that 52% of the region’s road network is in poor condition, with poor maintenance and poor level of service. This increases the operating costs of business due to long transit times and long turn-around times, frequent need for repairs and lengthy clearance procedures among others.

However, the EAC Partner States government are committed to improving the road transport network and already a lot of improvements for example on the Northern and the Central corridors have been made.

There is also effort to carry out other on-transit facilitation activities such as harmonisation of axle-load limits and overload control, simplification of customs documentation and procedures at ports and border posts, among others.

Port Facilities
The region has 2 ports – in Dar es Salaam, run by the Tanzania Port Authority and Mombasa – run by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Although both ports experience problems such as delays and congestion, both are committed to improved service and have incorporated a 24 hour / 7 days a week service delivery.

In addition, there are plans to have more terminal facilities, carry out modernisation in terms of computerising of the container handling systems, improve documentation and cargo clearance, cargo verification and scanning, among others.

KPA has special representatives for each of the landlocked countries (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, DRC), who are allowed to participate in stakeholder meetings. On the other hand, TPA intends to build 5 inland container depots, special treatment for cargo that needs quick clearance such as fuels, purchase of more equipment and plans are underway to extend the port to enable it handle 600, 000 TEU (current capacity is 250,000 TEU).

 

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