Inadequate transport infrastructure setback to growth – COMESA
Published On February 26, 2014 » 2332 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Business, Stories
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By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE –
OUTGOING Chairperson for Common Markert for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Bureau of the Council of Ministers, Amelia Kyambadde has said inadequate infrastructure in transport and energy remains the major hindrance to economic growth.
Ms Kyambadde identified the other areas as communication and information technology (ICT) and called for the mobilisation of resources to close the infrastructure deficit in the region.
She said that in the energy sector, the total installed capacity for electric power in the 19 COMESA countries was about 55,800 Megawatts which contrasted with a total of 124,000 for France and over 1,000,000 megawatts for the United States of America (USA).
Ms Kyambadde said that translated into high energy costs which are a major impediment to the expansion of the manufacturing sector in COMESA region.
Ms Kyambadde who is Uganda’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, said when she addressed the ongoing Council of Ministers meeting preceding the COMESA Heads of State meeting in Kinshasa said every three rural Africans, only one of them dwelt within two kilometres of an all-season road.
She said that this had condemned millions of people to remain trapped in subsistence agriculture because they were unable to reach urban markets.
On the railway network Mr  Kyambadde  said COMESA region had a network of 28,000 kilometres with an area of approximately 12 million square kilometres while India with an area of about three million square kilometres has 63,000 kilometres of rail.
Ms Kyambadde said the number of internet users was estimated at 15.4 per cent in the sub-Saharan Africa which was way below the world average of 35.6 per cent.

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