The Trilateral Road Transport agreement between Namibia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo was recently signed in Lubumbashi.

These countries, known as the member states of the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC), now look forward to strengthened economic relations.

This agreement, underway sine June 2015 and signed in April this year, aims to develop a strong and competitive transport industry to ensure all operators compete successfully for a fair share of the transport market between the territories of the member states. Signing this agreement ensures improved and a more efficient regulation of the operation and maintenance of transport and databases, permit issuing processes between member states and control procedures.

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group established an office in Zambia in 2005 and DRC 2012 to develop business along that corridor. The initiation of this contract was derived from an existing Bilateral Road Transport Agreement between Namibia and Zambia, which created harmonisation of all road related matters.

At the meeting where the agreement was signed, the Technical and Permanent Secretary Committees of the WBNLDC reviewed, deliberated and agreed to establish a Permanent Secretariat of the WBNLDC by December 2017. Other key related issues discussed were matters related to customs, transit fees, security, theft and smuggling along the corridor, immigration and health-related issues.

The African Development Bank is facilitating the running of the secretariat for a period of 3 years. Through this funding, the interim secretariat of the WBNLDC aims to develop a strategic plan to reduce bottlenecks along the corridor by 50%, establish a permanent secretariat of the WBNLDC and initiate the spatial development initiatives along the corridor.

This agreement will further facilitate and regulate the movement of passengers and goods, whilst promoting their free flow between these countries. In addition, the creation of new state and private sector business development is ensured, making the Trilateral Road Transport Agreement a very lucrative transaction.

The meeting of Technical Officials was attended by the member states of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Namibia and Republic of Zambia led by their Co-chairs. The Walvis Bay Corridor Group is elated by the signing of the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lumbumbashi Development Corridor’s agreement and earnestly awaits its full implementation.