Geingob applauds RA’s effectiveness

By Hilary Mare

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has applauded the Roads Authority for the role it has played in ensuring that Namibia’s road network ranks not only among the best in the region, but amongst the best on the continent.

Addressing delegates at the official inauguration of the roads authority head office, Geingob remarked that it was his hope that the new Head Office will provide an enabling working environment which will contribute to the enhancement of the Roads Authority’s efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out its mandate.

“The Roads Authority is an integral role player in our national developmental efforts. This entity supports the economic development of our country through the management, planning, construction and designing of road infrastructure networks, which are essential for trade facilitation, industrialization, socio-economic development and regional integration.

“It is my hope that this new building signifies that the Roads Authority will play a larger role in our efforts to bring prosperity to the Namibian people. It is easy to get distracted by the splendour and aesthetic appeal of this modern building but let us not forget the sterling efforts of those who made this project a reality. Behind this achievement, stand accomplished and hardworking individuals – contractors, suppliers, planners, engineers and managers whose expertise, labour and teamwork is being recognized today,” Geingob stated adding that it is a well-known fact that roads are not only regarded as the backbone of our country’s economy, but are also crucial for the advancement of our government’s goals to improve the lives of all our citizens.

For these reasons, the Government of Namibia has, since independence, invested greatly in expanding the existing road network and upgrading the standard of our roads and furthermore, has invested in other transport infrastructure development such as rail, ports and aviation, in order to meet the national demand and position Namibia as the gateway to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

SADC has prioritized infrastructure development by recognizing it as prerequisite for the creation of larger markets and greater economic opportunities.

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According to the SADC Secretariat, infrastructure is critical for promoting and sustaining regional economic development, trade and investment, and will contribute to poverty eradication and improved social conditions.

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“Namibia is proud to contribute to the SADC vision of infrastructure development through the continued upgrading of our road network which is a catalyst for national and regional economic growth.

Namibia is currently accessible by all SADC member states. Land-locked countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are now sea-linked, having access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Port of Walvis Bay, and some land-linked, thanks to the efficient road infrastructure which forms our transport corridors. I commend the Roads Authority for the role played in contributing to the development of Namibia and SADC infrastructure,” Geingob said.

“As Government, we have made a commitment to continue renovation, upgrading, maintenance and expansion of critical sections of our road network, with a view to ensuring safe and convenient traveling, stimulating economic activities, and facilitating the movement of goods and services within Namibia and across our borders.

“It is my firm belief that with the construction of this Head Office, which has enabled the Roads Authority to fill critical positions, we are witnessing the dawn of a period of accelerated growth and modernization of Namibia’s road network.”

President went on to note that it was Namibia’s commitment to establishing a world class road network also speaks to the greater ambition of realizing an integrated African Continent which is politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance, as encapsulated under the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

“However, to develop Africa, the integration of our continent can only be made possible if we first establish integration at the level of our Regional Economic Communities (RECS), before progressing to the rest of Africa. In this regard, AU leaders will be meeting in Niger next week to mark the signing into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which among other objectives, aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the African Customs Union.

“As Namibians, we should feel a sense of pride in having a road network in place which can not only support our domestic developmental aspirations, but also those of our region and the continent as a whole,” concluded Geingob.