The Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP) has resulted in the implementation of common vehicle load management strategy, standards and regulations across the Eastern and Southern Africa (EA-SA) region.
With a funding of Euro 21,6 million from the European Union under the Southern African Development Community (SADC)-European Union (EU) partnership, the programme has also resulted in the operationalisation of an integrated Transport Registers and Information Platform System (TRIPS) along selected corridors, with a common tracking system containing mandatory health information.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic engulfing the region, the programme has been amended to include a corridor trip monitoring system that will allow for tracking of vehicles and drivers, as well as allow for sharing of information on their health status across the borders, including COVID-19 related information.
The TTTFP has seen an increased efficiency of transport corridors in the tripartite SADC-East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. Its achievements to date include the adoption and implementation of the Vehicle Load Management Act and Multilateral Cross Border Road Transport Agreement and the Corridor Management Trip Monitoring System available for piloting as of 22 June 2020.
The objectives of the TTTFP are to develop and implement harmonised road transport policies, laws, regulations and standards for efficient cross border road transport, transit and logistics services, systems and procedures with a view to reducing transport costs across the mainland countries of the SADC, COMESA and EAC region and facilitate trade.
A number of policy, regulatory and strategic frameworks documents for TTTFP were approved by Ministers of Transport in October 2019. These include policy decisions relating to phasing out of left-hand drive vehicles in Member States driving on the left side of the road; Terms of References for development of the SADC Regional Railway Infrastructure Development Master Plan; and the SADC Regional Railway Emergency Response Charter.
Harmonisation of these instruments is critical for development of regional infrastructures and promotion of economic development, trade and investment. In addition, the draft model laws and regulations to facilitate the domestication of the Multilateral Cross Border Road Transport Agreement (MCBRTA) was developed, and at least eight countries are at different stages of changing existing laws based on the model laws.
Furthermore, the Vehicle Load Management Agreement (VLMA), Road Transport Model Laws, Model Regulations and Standards are ready for consideration by the Tripartite Summit.
At least eight countries -- Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), and Uganda -- are at different stages of changing existing laws based on the model laws. Implementation of the MCBRTA will facilitate reduction in transport costs and transit times for people and goods in the tripartite Member States.
Vehicle Load Management Agreement (VLMA), Road Transport Model Laws, Model Regulations and Standards were approved by the Tripartite Sectoral Committee of Ministers of Infrastructure and are ready for consideration by the Tripartite Summit.
In terms of the corridors, the Governance Instruments for Lobito and Maputo Development Corridors was developed. Those for Beira and North South Corridors were open for signature by corridor states. Harmonisation of road transport policies, laws, regulations and standards enhances efficient cross border road transport and transit networks in the tripartite region.
The lack of an integrated and liberalised road transport market in the East and Southern African region poses numerous obstacles to trade by causing severe delays and increased transport costs, as well as challenges to road safety and durability (the latter caused by excess load of vehicles). The TTTFP addresses these challenges through the implementation of harmonised road transport policies, laws, regulations, systems and standards that affect drivers, loads, vehicles and road infrastructure in the countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa Region.