On September 25-26, the Trade Hub hosted a regional workshop in Accra to validate the interim report outlining a proposed ECOWAS Regional Strategy and Action Plan on Corridor Management and Development. The two-day workshop brought together 56 regional and international experts and government officials from the logistics, transport and trade sectors to deliberate issues related to corridors and contribute to the formulation of a regional strategy and action plan aimed at improving the management of regional trade and transport corridors. The definition of a regional strategy and action plan is an important step for the region as it provides a basis for improving the transport sector through improved coordination with a regional approach on infrastructure, transport facilitation, and economic development projects along corridors in West Africa.
The workshop is a culmination of efforts of collaboration between the Trade Hub and the ECOWAS Commission. Since February 2016, Mr. Chongo Mukupa, the Trade Hub’s Trade and Transport Enabling Environment Specialist, has been working with the ECOWAS Commission’s Department of Infrastructure to prepare the ground for and oversee a study on regional corridor management and development. The study, which is being undertaken by Corridor Development Consultants (CDC), is financed by the Hub and co-supervised by the Hub together with the ECOWAS Commission. It will help the Commission to formulate a regional strategy to develop transport corridors and improve their overall efficiency in facilitating regional and international trade. In addition to the strategy outlined in the report, CDC has also prepared a 10-year action plan for implementing a regional corridors management and development strategy.
At the workshop, participants deliberated on current issues affecting existing corridor institutions, and possible lessons learned from other regions in Africa, Asia and Europe that could improve the institutions. They discussed the report’s proposed strategies for corridor management, infrastructure development and economic development, taking into consideration the need for financial sustainability. Participants also examined the proposed 10-year action plan for implementing the regional strategy.
Based on inputs from the workshop, the report will be finalized in October 2017 when CDC will also provide a final report containing the strategy, the 10-year action plan and a guide for implementing corridor management and development on the Abidjan–Ouagadougou and Tema- Ouagadougou Corridors.
“The preparation of this strategy and action plan represents a large opportunity for improving the management and economic development of transport corridors in the region. ECOWAS is fully engaged in this study, and is impressed by the outcome,” said Dr. Antoinette Weeks, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure.