By Kwanta Douglas –
After two years as chair of the Northern Corridor policy organs, Kenya handed over the mantle to Rwanda.
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the ministry of East African Community and Regional Development Aden Mohammed handed over the helm to Rwanda’s Minister for Infrastructure Claver Gatete, during the 33rd meeting of the Northern Corridor Council of Ministers held on August 6, who will serve until 2023.
The vice-chair position went to Uganda while the First and Second Rapporteur seats went to Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively.
With the instruments of authority and the chairmanship moving from Kenya to Rwanda, a similar transition was made for the Executive Committee, as well as the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Committee Chairmanship.
In the joint communique issued after the virtual meeting, which brought together Ministers from the six Northern Corridor Member States and representatives of some Regional Economic Communities and Development Partners, the council emphasised the importance of the Northern Corridor Transport route and the role it plays in promoting international trade and regional integration.
The meeting held under the theme, Towards a Resilient, Smart and Responsive Corridor for Trade and Transport Logistics was attended by ministers from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda who re-affirmed their commitment towards supporting Northern Corridor projects such as Road Side Stations Programme in Transport Infrastructure Development along the Northern Corridor highways.
Members of the Northern Corridor highest Policy Organ also lauded the efforts and the progress made by member states in developing and improving regional transport infrastructure projects such as road transport networks, dry posts and inland container depots, one stop border posts, the standard gauge railway and the oil pipeline.
The Council also directed the Secretariat to come up with elaborate strategies to enable private sector participation in corridor development and infrastructure projects, while supporting the member states to prepare bankable projects that would attract private sector investment through Public Private Partnerships.
Though there are still some challenges for the Northern Corridor region to achieve its full potential in trading between the countries, member states are committed to projects that promote intra-regional trade and integration.