Namibia hosts first ever ARMFA AGM in Swakopmund

Sharlien Tjambari

The Road Fund Administration (RFA), is hosting the 17th Africa Road Maintenance Fund Association (ARMFA) Annual General Assembly and Annual General Meeting in Swakopmund under the theme: “Sustainable Road Infrastructure: Impact on Regional Integration and Free Trade Africa”.

The AGM commenced on 10 March and will run until 16 March this week. Road infrastructure is a growth enabler, enabling trade, integration and the movement of people. The pursuit of shared prosperity presupposes inclusive growth and economic opportunity which are often facilitated through trade, such that efficient road infrastructure is one of the key pillars in the logistics chain.
ARMFA, has a membership of 34 countries, of which Namibia is a member through the Road Fund Administration (RFA). The Association holds Annual General Assembly and General Meetings, this is the very first time Namibia is hosting the AGM.
ARMFA, provides member countries with a unique opportunity and platform to discuss matters of common interest and to foster together in unity towards road network interconnections among African countries.
Economic development and social transformation cannot be fostered efficiently in the absence of well-developed and well-maintained roads.
RFA as the hosting organization trust that Namibia as well the African continent will gain long term benefits from the AGM. In his speech, the Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa said: “It is absolutely important to remind you, that: as Member States, in your collective capacity as AFMFA, you are bonded and united by the common objective: to build, maintain and regularly improve road infrastructure, in your country, in your Sub-Region and in the whole continent of Africa”.
According to him, functioning infrastructure such as roads, railways, ports, electricity and water networks, and other basic systems that make a country run,
in an absolute condition and pre-condition for development and economic growth to take place. He further mentioned that: “It is encouraging and gratifying to note that the issue of infrastructure is getting serious attention, both at the levels of the continent (African Union), the Sub-Regional economic groupings, as well as at the country level.
We commend and thank our leaders for their foresight and visionary leadership, in that respect”.
Ali Iipinge the Chief Executive Officer of RFA mentioned that they have learned that challenges of managing and upkeep of the road assets on the continent as well as accessibility varies greatly among and between member countries, “but we remain weaved together by the strength of these uniqueness common interests of developing road networks and corridors that will improve regional integration and free trade across the continent
Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Finance said, this occasion demonstrates the
commitment of member countries to come together for peer learning and strategic planning in road sector financing that is more aligned to the broader continental development agenda. “The object which justifies the existence of the Road Funds is the mandated role to raise optimal funding for the upkeep of the road infrastructure, both paved and unpaved road networks. Presumably, the raising of funds does not erode the road user’s ability to pay and overall national competitiveness”.
Schlettwein further said that Road
Funds across the continent have a responsibility to ensure sustainable funding maintenance and preservation of the road network. Transport infrastructure for which road networks are pivotal, play a catalytic role in enabling economic activity and the movement of goods and people.

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