Transport and Communications Decade in Africa
Mid-term Evaluation of the Second United Nations Transport and Communications Decade in Africa (UNTACDA II)
The programme of the second United Nations Transport and Communications Decade in Africa (UNTACDA II) has been under implementation since 1991. The long-term aims of the second Decade are to establish an efficient integrated transport and communications system as a basis for the physical integration of Africa, so as to facilitate traffic movement, foster trade and enable the achievement of self- sustained economic development as envisaged in the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community.
The design of the programme, including the global objectives, strategies and mechanisms was based on the "bottom-up approach" which clearly recognizes and therefore emphasizes that national level activities constitute the foundation of the programme, supplemented by activities at the subregional and regional levels. As such, the Decade programme is basically an African development programme and its success will mostly depend on the commitment to it by each African country by giving the necessary attention and resources for its effective implementation.
To ensure that the programme remains on course throughout the implementation period, it was decided that it should be evaluated frequently, i.e., every three years (1994, 1997, 2000) so that any necessary mid-way corrective action could be taken before it was too late. In compliance with the above, ECA carried out the first mid-term evaluation of the programme in 1994 and it concentrated on the function-ing of the Decade structure and on the ongoing regional projects.
The evaluation has critically reviewed the relevance and validity of the entire Decade programme as well as its mechanism and organs, viz.: the National Coordinating Committees (NCCs), the Subsectoral and Subregional Working Groups, the Resource Mobilization Committee (RMC), the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee (IACC) and the lead agency. The evaluation also dealt with the progress made and problems encountered during the implementation of the programme. Although the global objectives, together with the sectoral ones, were well-conceived, the mechanism did not function very well.
The evaluation also addressed the issue of projects implementation. In this regard, the evaluation showed that some 456 out of the initial 669 projects approved in 1991 have been monitored by ECA with the conclusion that US$5,252.63 million has been secured for the 456 projects monitored. This amount represents about 59.2 per cent of the total amount for these projects.
Four ongoing regional projects which were under implementation, viz: human resources and institu- tional development, Yamoussoukro Declaration on a New African Air Transport Policy, the regional trans-port database and the Trans-African Highway Bureau were also reviewed by the evaluation. The main find-ing of the evaluation is that all of them suffered from inadequate funding and that more signatures and ratifi-cations are needed for the Trans-African Highway Bureau to become operational.
The tenth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport and Communications reviewed the evaluation report which the intergovernmental experts had already been considered in greater detail, together with all the recommendations it contained and took several measures aimed at improving the implementation of the programme. These measures are aimed at facilitating the implementation of the pro-gramme in member States, financial institutions, the new orientation of the programme, the mechanism, pro-gramme advisory and promotional activities of UNTACDA II and special appeals to the United Nations General Assembly for additional funding. The Ministers also approved an action programme for imple-mentation of the Decade, as well as resolution through which appeals are being made to some of Africa's development partners to support the funding and implementation of UNTACDA II.
The following are the principal findings and conclusions of the mid-term evaluation of UNTACDA II which the Ministers approved:
(a) The programme should concentrate on regional and subregional activities in view of their inherent physical integration attributes, commonality of interest and cost effectiveness;
(b) Activities of the programme should be fully internalized at all levels according to availability or identified resources;
(c) Activities should be scaled down to realistic levels;
(d) Efforts should be concentrated only on the most important activities of common benefit to most countries;
(e) Greater reliance should be placed on the pooling of internal resources for programme imple- mentation;
(f) The Resource Mobilization Committee (RMC) should be renamed "Advisory Committee for Programme Promotion" (ACPP);
(g) Member States should avoid the implementation of parallel programmes; and
(h) An appeal should be made to the United Nations General Assembly to supplement ECA regular budget resources for the implementation of UNTACDA II activities.
In recognition of the importance of the transport and communications sector in Africa and the absolute necessity to mobilize African Governments and the international community for the development of the above sector, the ECA Conference of Ministers adopted in March 1977 a resolution requesting the General Assembly to proclaim a United Nations Transport and Communications Decade in Africa in order to focus attention on the special needs of transport and communications in Africa. This resolution which was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the first United Nations Transport and Communications Decade in Africa (UNTACDA I) covering the period 1978-1988 was officially proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations through its resolution 32/160 of 19 December 1977.
The evaluation of the implementation of the entire UNTACDA I programme undertaken in 1988 showed that, despite the efforts made by African Governments and donors, the transport and communica-tions systems in Africa were still far from adequate to promote economic growth and development and were seen to be a major constraint on the overall economic integration and development of the region. This again prompted the ECA Conference of Ministers in 1988 to request the General Assembly to proclaim a second UNTACDA with the objective of continuing to focus African and international attention on the needs for the development of the two sectors. Thus, by its resolution 43/179 of 20 December 1988, the General Assembly proclaimed UNTACDA II for the period 1991-2000. The two-year period 1989-1990 was set aside for a thorough and careful preparation of the programme. This period enabled all the partners to identify and elaborate the main objectives of the Decade, which were subsequently adopted by the Con-ference of African Ministers of Transport, Communications and Planning in February 1991 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The long-term aims of the Decade are to establish an efficient integrated transport and communica- tions system as a basis for the physical integration of Africa, so as to facilitate the movement of national and international traffic, foster trade and the achievement of self-sustained economic development. The global objectives are as follows:
OBJECTIVE 1: Implementation of phased and balanced programme of development and management of transport and communications infrastructure, taking into account the needs and requirements of island and land-locked countries;
OBJECTIVE 2: Rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of the most critical elements of the existing infrastructure and equipment so as to improve their efficiency, capacity and utilization as well as prolong their economic life;
OBJECTIVE 3: Improvement of human resources planning, development and utilization in order to enhance the quality and availability of personnel at all levels for efficient management and operations of transport and communications systems;
OBJECTIVE 4: Improvement of operational efficiency, service quality and availability of transport and communications by implementing appropriate policies and administrative measures that will increase their competitiveness, productivity and profitability , while at the same time ensuring social and economic development;
OBJECTIVE 5: Establishment of information systems on transport and communications as a basis for analysis and better planning and management of investments;
OBJECTIVE 6: Development of manufacturing capabilities in order to cope with the rapid changes in technology and conditions in the transport and communications market and to reduce cost and requirements for foreign exchange by local manufacture of some spare parts, components and equipment;
OBJECTIVE 7: Improvement of transport safety and security as well as strengthening transport-related environmental protection measures;
OBJECTIVE 8: Improvement of transport and communications in rural areas where the majority of the people live and the largest percentage economic production takes place;
OBJECTIVE 9: Improvement of urban transport to meet the needs of the rapidly growing urban population;
OBJECTIVE 10: Establishment and strengthening of interregional liaisons in the field of transport and communications.
The design of the programme including the objectives, strategies and mechanism, was based on the "bottom up" approach which emphasizes activities first at the national level, then at the subregional and finally at the regional levels. The Decade programme is therefore basically an African development pro-gramme and its success will depend first on the commitment of each African country to give the necessary attention and resources for its implementation.
To ensure that the programme remains on course throughout the implementation period, it was decided that it should be evaluated frequently, e.g., every three years (1994, 1997, 2000) so that any neces- sary corrective action could be taken before it was too late. In 1994, ECA undertook the first mid- term evaluation of the programme which concentrated on the functioning of the Decade structure and on the ongoing regional projects.
II. Findings of the Mid-term Evaluation
As mentioned earlier, the first mid-term evaluation focused on examining the overall coherence of the programme, namely the relevance of global and sectoral objectives and the strategies and efficiency of the various institutional machinery set up for the implementation of the UNTACDA II programme. It also focused on an analysis of the status of certain programme projects. The following are the general conclu-sions of the study:
The evaluation revealed that the UNTACDA II programme had been well-designed, its global and sectoral objectives were coherent and properly formulated and covered all critical areas of transport and communications in Africa. Furthermore, the subsectoral strategies deriving from the objectives were found to have been properly articulated.
B. Implementation of the programme
The degree to which the programme had been implemented was considered inadequate because the machinery set up had not operated to satisfaction.
The evaluation revealed the following deficiencies regarding the operation of the machinery set up for implementation of the UNTACDA II programme.
D. Resource Mobilization Committee (RMC)
This organ, composed of the African Development Bank (ADB) (chairman), the Arab Bank for the Economic Development of Africa (BADEA), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank as well as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), ECA and the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) was set up to effectively promote the pro-gramme within and outside Africa and assist in resource mobilization.
The evaluation report indicates that in the opinion of the various partners, the RMC had not mobilized any resources for the programme. One other problem had to do with the operation of the RMC. Indeed, it was noted, on the one hand, that some influential members of the RMC, such as EU and BADEA had never attended a single meeting of the RMC and, on the other hand, the World Bank which had been very active in the Decade preparatory work had phased out its participation in RMC activities. The reason given by the Bank for its action was the reduction of ad hoc appointments pursuant to World Bank resolutions.
E. National Coordinating Committees (NCCs)
The NCCs comprise representatives of the various government transport and communications agencies, operators, users and the private sector. The main tasks of these committees during the imple- mentation phase are, inter alia, to coordinate the execution of national programmes in cooperation with the subregional organizations, collect and disseminate information on the national transport and communications sectors.
It should be recalled that each member State was to set up its own NCC and make sure that it func- tioned well. Five years into the launching of the Decade programme, it was noted that only 40 NCCs had been set up and among them only a very small number operated in a relatively acceptable manner.
Besides, in spite of the guidelines agreed upon regarding the composition of NCCs, economic operators, particularly private people operating in the transport and communications sector, had not been associated with the work of the NCCs established.
Several reasons were advanced for the poor performance of the NCCs. In certain cases, the terms of reference of the NCCs were too wide in scope and therefore difficult to accomplish. It was also indicated that the programming of UNTACDA II had failed to take into account the capacity of governments to carry out their mandate and honour their financial obligations to the NCCs. The NCCs also had to contend with changes in government priorities regarding project selection.
In the view of the evaluation officers, therefore, the "bottom-up approach" adopted as the basis for the UNTACDA II programme had not worked out properly.
F. Subregional Working Groups
The four subregional working groups are composed of all relevant subregional organizations in each subregion. Their responsibilities, during the implementation phase are, inter alia, to recommend harmonized subregional strategies and programmes for their respective subregions.
The participation in and performance within the programme implementation mechanism of the four subregional working groups has been less than satisfactory, notwithstanding their determination to support the Decade programme. One reason for their poor performance was the lack of financial assistance which the subregional organizations were expecting from the RMC. It appeared that the effective participation of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) depended on the availability of additional financial and technical support which could be mobilized within the context of the UNTACDA II programme. The subregional working groups had also failed to internalize fully the concept of the Decade programme and perceived UNTACDA II as an external programme which did not form part of their regular activities.
G. The Subsectoral Working Groups
There are eight subsectoral working groups, namely roads and road transport; railways; air transport; maritime, inland water and multimodal transport; urban transport; telecommunications and broadcasting; postal services; and manufacturing of equipment. The main tasks of these working groups during the imple-mentation phase is, inter alia, to disseminate subsectoral strategies and monitor progress achieved in imple-menting the UNTACDA II programme.
The eight subsectoral working groups had been very active during the preparatory phase. Nevertheless, after the programme was launched, the activities of many of them decreased considerably. For most of them, activities relating to the Decade programme were additional outputs for which supple-mentary resources had to be provided for their delivery. Due to lack of resources, the work programmes prepared by the various working groups could not be implemented.
H. Member States
African States bore the responsibility for establishing NCCs and ensuring their proper functioning. What could be noted, however, was that the States did not honour this commitment. Moreover, most member States promoted two programmes concurrently: the Decade programme whose implementation they expected some other agency (most often ECA) to carry out and another priority programme which they sub-mitted to funding agencies but which had little or nothing in common with the Decade programme. This attitude of member States is one of the main factors which has impeded the implementation of the pro-gramme over the past five years.
I. Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
ECA was designated as lead agency and, in cooperation with other agencies, is responsible for the overall coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the Decade activities in order to foster the achievement of the objectives.
ECA's contribution as lead agency for the Decade programme was appreciable during the prepara-tory phase. It provided technical backstopping for various aspects of the programme under the regular budget. For the implementation phase, ECA fully integrated UNTACDA II into its regular programme and the staff of the Transport, Communications and Tourism Division were organized so as to address effectively the issue of programme implementation.
In spite of those initiatives, ECA is having difficulties in supporting the current phase of the pro- gramme. The regional programmes designed to support the operations of the implementation machinery organs are mostly not completed due to lack of adequate resources.
J. The Decade projects
When UNTACDA II was adopted in February 1991, most of the parties involved considered that the Decade programme would be incomplete without a number of projects whose implementation would help in appreciating the impact of the programme on the overall development of transport and communications in Africa. Accordingly, 669 projects were selected among the 1,127 regional, subregional and national pro-jects to be included in the first phase of the programme. This selection was conducted on the basis of pre-viously defined criteria, particularly with regard to whether the project met one or more programme objec-tives and should be included in the national priority investment programme or in the work programme of the particular organization which had submitted it as a subregional or regional project.
It was also recognized by the Decade programme partners that the final responsibility for implement- ing these projects would lie with the project initiators: member States, subregional organizations and United Nations agencies.
In spite of these criteria, it turned out that projects submitted to the UNTACDA II machinery by member States did not often tally with those in the national priority investment programmes of most of the countries. This resulted in a number of difficulties encountered in mobilizing the resources needed for the implementation of these projects.
Given the problems encountered in collecting information on the status of UNTACDA II projects, ECA, by late February 1995, had received information on only 456 projects out of the 669 approved in 1991.
The analysis of these data showed that, out of 456 projects evaluated:
(a) 47 projects estimated at a cost of $470.30 million had been completed;
(b) 171 projects estimated at $5,064.74 million were being implemented and 120 of them fully financed for an amount of $2,770.65 million;
(c) 76 projects at an estimated cost of $1,507.96 million were fully or partly financed but had yet to be implemented; and
(d) 31 projects at an estimated cost of $110.19 million had either been abandoned, postponed or had to be reformulated by the submitting countries or organizations.
The remainder (131 projects out of the 456 evaluated) were awaiting financing. In total, an amount of $5,252.63 million had been mobilized to finance part of the 456 projects, as indicated above.
K. Regional projects
The main ongoing regional projects also examined in the evaluation are: human resources and institutional development, the Yamoussoukro Declaration on a New African Air Transport Policy, transport database and Trans-African Highway Bureau.
(a) Human resources and institutional development programme
This programme was designed to respond to objectives 3 and 4 of UNTACDA II "to improve human resource planning, development and utilization and achieve operational efficiency, service quality and availability of the transport and communications services". The programme is being implemented in four pilot countries (Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali and Sierra Leone) and focuses on assistance in the development of human resources and institutional capacities.
(b) Yamoussoukro Declaration on a New African Air Transport Policy
It will be recalled that in 1988, African Ministers responsible for civil aviation, faced with deregula-tion and liberalization policies initiated in the United Sates of America and Europe, met to take measures for the development of the African air transport industry and adopted the Yamoussoukro Declaration on a New African Air Transport Policy. In so doing, they agreed to commit themselves, individually and collec-tively, to promote cooperation and solidarity in safeguarding and development of international air transport activities in Africa, and to make all the necessary efforts to achieve the integration of African airlines within a period of eight years through the strengthening of cooperative structures and the creation of new entities.
An evaluation undertaken in 1993 on the implementation of the Declaration showed that not much progress had been made, consequently the African Ministers of Transport and Communications requested ECA to organize a second meeting of African ministers responsible for civil aviation to take measures that would expedite the implementation of the Declaration. That meeting, organized in Mauritius on 9 September 1994, adopted several key measures for implementation among which are the following:
(a) Governments should incorporate the Declaration into their national policies within one year;
(b) There should be flexibility in exchange and liberalization of traffic rights within a period of two years;
(c) Efforts should be intensified towards the establishment of multinational airlines;
(d) Cooperation and integration programmes should be established by airlines during the period 1995- 2000, revamping and commercialization of operations and the training and retention of qualified staff;
(e) Coordination machinery should be set up at all levels with the involvement of subregional economic organizations;
(f) Speeding up implementation of the various phases so as to achieve phase III by the year 2000; and
(g) Supplementary measures should be adopted on rationalized use of airspace, air transport charges, facilitation, security, transfer of revenues, designation of airlines and establishment of a multina- tional legal framework for the application of the above decisions.
(c) Transport database programme
This programme is designed to contribute to the achievement of objective 5 of the UNTACDA II programme regarding the establishment of data and information systems in the transport and communications sector in Africa.
The first phase of the programme has developed performance indicators for all modes of transport and methodologies for data collection. A network has been created among pilot countries and participating institutions for maintaining progress through exchange of experience. Phase II of the programme is being designed to focus on the problems regarding the establishment of the regional transport database at ECA.
(d) Trans-African Highway Bureau:
The establishment of the single Bureau of the Trans-African Highway Authorities at ECA to provide secretariat services to all Trans-African Highways Authorities was requested by the ECA Conference of Ministers in its resolution 604 (XXII) of April 1987. The Special Meeting of Plenipotentiaries on the Statutes of the Trans-African Highway Bureau was held in Rabat, Morocco on 14 September 1993 to consider, adopt and sign the Statutes of the Bureau. The following countries signed the Statutes during the meeting: Algeria, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, the Tanzania, Zambia and Zaire.
ECA has since contacted the remaining member States and reminded them to sign and ratify the Statutes, with the following outcome:
(a) Ghana has signed the Statutes;
(b) Uganda paid a sum of $25,000 for the implementation of the Trans-African Highway pro-gramme; and
(c) Egypt and Morocco have ratified the Statutes of the Bureau.
The Special Meeting of Plenipotentiaries recommended that the launching of the Bureau would take effect after 26 ratifications had been obtained, as stipulated in article 26 (a) of the Statutes. In order to facilitate the coming into force of the Statutes, the tenth Conference of African Ministers of Transport and Communications decided to reduce the number of signatures and ratifications to 18.
III. DECISIONS OF THE TENTH CONFERENCE OF AFRICAN MINISTERS
OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS ON THE MID-TERM EVALUATION
The tenth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport and Communications was organized by ECA to review the mid-term evaluation of UNTACDA II programme. The Ministers reaffirmed the continued relevance and critical importance of UNTACDA II, especially towards achieving the goals of the Abuja Treaty (1991) establishing the African Economic Community and noted with concern the low level of implementation of the programme due to lack of resources.
The meeting made some recommendations on the implementation of the Decade programme and adopted the programme of action derived therefrom. A draft resolution from the recommendations is attached as annex I. The following recommendations were made on the various organs and programme of the Decade:
A. UNTACDA II programme
The member States should make every effort to implement the Decade programme by undertaking, inter alia, the following specific activities:
(a) Facilitate and support NCC activities through the provision of the necessary human and financial resources to enable them to accomplish their assigned tasks;
(b) Accord priority to national projects which contribute to the achievement of Decade objec-tives;
(c) Coordinate and strengthen national efforts in fund-raising to enable them to access regional IPFs from such sources as the Lomé Convention for the implementation of the Decade programme; and
(d) Assess the environmental impact of their transport and communications development projects.
The UNTACDA II programme should be re-oriented with emphasis on regional and subregional pro-jects. National projects should be coordinated and monitored by the subregional organizations in collabora- tion with the countries. All new projects to be proposed for inclusion in the Decade programme should con-form to the principles and the criteria already adopted and should be submitted to the funding agencies, specifying, among other things:
(a) The time frame for implementation;
(b) Resource requirements, availability and prospective sources; and
(c) The description and assignment of tasks among the various partners.
C. United Nations Development Programme
A request was made to the Governing Council of UNDP to increase the level of support to UNTACDA II by funding part of the regional action programme for the implementation of the second phase of the UNTACDA II programme.
D. Financial institutions and agencies
Financial Institutions and agencies should be approached to contribute further to the implementation of the programme approved by the tenth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport and Communications. The Coordinating Ministers of the ACP/European Development Fund (EDF) should be approached to give the appropriate priority to the Decade projects and programmes in the preparation of their national and regional indicative programmes under the second financial protocol of the Lomé IV Convention.
The development banks and participating financial institutions should continue to support the UNTACDA II programme and its mechanism for coordinated and efficient support to the development of transport and communications in Africa. In this regard, an appeal should be sent to the World Bank to resume its high level of involvement in and contribution to the implementation of the UNTACDA II pro-gramme.
A special request is addressed to African financial institutions to provide further support to the UNTACDA II programme, particularly by taking systematically into account the guidelines and priorities of the Decade in the preparation of the action plans for African countries.
E. Intergovernmental organizations
IGOs should take an active part in UNTACDA II programme by carrying out in their regular work programme activities listed in the UNTACDA II programme with priority given to those that foster regional integration. Member States and IGOs should involve the subregional and subsectoral working groups in the design of regional action programmes and provide them with every assistance necessary for participating effectively in the implementation of the UNTACDA II programme.
F. United Nations General Assembly and ECA
The United Nations General Assembly should be requested to provide additional regular budget resources to enable ECA to pursue the major activities of the Decade action programme within its regular work programme.
ECA should disseminate systematically, to all UNTACDA II partners, information on the imple-mentation of the Decade through workshops, seminars, symposia and information bulletins; play a more active role in coordinating the UNTACDA II programme and strengthen its own capacity to provide the necessary technical back-stopping in support of programme implementation. It should also ensure that future evaluations of the implementation of UNTACDA II are based on critical analysis of the degree to which Decade objectives have been achieved, and prepare a consolidated report on the status of implementation of all UNTACDA II projects based on reports drafted by member States and IGOs on the situation with regard to the status of their projects.
G. Working Groups
The Subsectoral working groups should assist in the evaluation of projects falling within their area of competence as well as in the coordination and integration of the Africa regional work programmes of the United Nations agencies with those of UNTACDA II. They should also initiate a framework for privatiza-tion and commercialization programmes in the transport and communications sectors.
H. Resource Mobilization Committee
The Ministers decided that the RMC shall henceforth be known as the UNTACDA II Advisory Com- mittee on Programme Promotion (ACPP) and, on the basis of its new terms of reference, lay emphasis on assisting member countries in seeking, arranging and mobilizing funds for their projects approved under the UNTACDA II programme. All financial institutions that are members of the ACPP should play a more active role in supporting the Committee's mission by providing it with the required technical expertise.
I. Regional projects
The Ministers strongly expressed the view that the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Programme (SSATP) should be implemented in compliance with UNTACDA II objectives and recommended that the necessary measures should be taken to harmonize the two programmes.
On the reactivation of the Trans-African Highway Bureau, the Ministers urged member States which had not yet signed and ratified the Statutes to do so without further delay. To facilitate the reactivation of the Bureau, the Ministers decided to reduce the number of ratifications required for the Statutes to come into force from 26 to 18 member States.
On human resources and institutional development and transport database, the Ministers appealed to the relevant development partners to continue to support fully the two programmes by providing more resources for the implementation of the identified activities and to African countries to increase South-South cooperation in the implementation of the programmes. Member States were urged to adopt harmonized and standardized methodologies for data collection and calculation of performance indicators already developed under phase one of the database programme and to ensure that national focal points are established for the development of transport data in Africa. ECA was requested to prepare an inventory of training institutions available in Africa for dissemination to member States.
Regarding the Yamoussoukro Declaration on a New African Air Transport Policy, the Ministers called upon Coordinator Ministers, countries, the regional and subregional organizations who have not yet done so, to take appropriate measures towards implementing the decisions taken in Mauritius and requested ECA to continue its effort in coordinating the activities of implementing and assisting the various mechanisms adopted in Mauritius.
IV. Programme of Action for 1995-1997
The Ministers further resolved to see the Decade action programme for 1995-1997 focused on the main regional and subregional areas. The programme of action has been formulated in the bottom-up approach of UNTACDA II; that is, with inputs from member States, African regional IGOs and concerned United Nations agencies and financial institutions. Accordingly, the action programme identified activities to be carried out at these three levels: national, subregional and regional. The findings and recommenda-tions of the 1994 mid-term review formed the basis for the action programme.
A. Activities at national level
National activities should focus on the implementation of high priority projects which have regional and subregional impact, such as those currently included in the approved list of projects to be implemented under UNTACDA II, Volume II: Projects approved in 1991. The national projects, which are designed to enhance the achievement of the UNTACDA II objectives, should be approved within the context of the respective subregions and their activities coordinated and monitored by the leader of the subregional Working Groups, namely the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA). These organizations would then report progress in their respective subregions to the Conference of Ministers through the IACC.
B. Activities at subregional level
It is to be recalled that the five subregions of Africa are the building blocks for the establishment of the African Economic Community according to the Abuja Treaty of 1991. For UNTACDA II, which is the basis for the physical integration of Africa, these subregions form a natural grouping for its imple- mentation. In fact, the strategies for the programme were drawn on the basis of four subregional groupings, in which Eastern and Southern Africa were taken as one region, thereby combining the activities of the then Preferential Trade Area of Eastern and Southern African States (PTA) with those of Southern African Development Community (SADC) since most of their membership overlaps.
Logistically, the subregional groups are central to the programme of UNTACDA II as was well- recognized in the Tangier strategy. Subregional strategies are the major constituent parts of the Decade strategy and the subregional Working Groups should be entrusted with the assignment to draw up the subregional action programme. In this regard, the subsectoral Working Groups are to provide the necessary technical support.
C. Activities at regional level
The mid-term evaluation has concluded that the thematic areas which had been identified in the stra- tegies of UNTACDA II as priority areas have not been adequately developed into action programmes and projects. The African regional organizations and the relevant United Nations agencies should therefore fully incorporate into their regular work programmes those aspects of the programme which are relevant to their mandate and competence. As members of the various subsectoral Working Groups, these organizations and agencies should assist the subregional Working Groups in the evaluation, formulation and implementation of projects in their areas of competence. In view of the drastic reductions in extrabudgetary resources to the United Nations agencies, this seems to be the only way forward.
D. Regional action programme for UNTACDA II
The regional action programme in support of the development of transport and communications infra- structure and services should take into account the needs identified at the national level as well as the capa-cities of the subregional organizations. It is a realistic programme of action based on the resources which are likely to be available within the regular budgets of the participating agencies and institutions.
Notwithstanding the fact that there are ten global objectives of UNTACDA II, the action programme for 1995-1997 will focus only on certain priority areas. Joint projects/activities in the regional action pro-gramme should therefore be formulated on the following themes of UNTACDA II by the relevant agencies, members of the various subsectoral and subregional working groups:
(a) Human resource and institutional development;
(b) Regional cooperation;
(c) Management information systems;
(d) Seminars and workshops.
The following projects and activities may be considered for implementation under the regional action programme. Member States which are interested in any particular area of activity are expected to inform ECA in its capacity as lead agency for UNTACDA II. The latter would then coordinate with the concerned agencies accordingly.
1. Human resources and institutional development in transport and communications
(a) Human resources and institutional development programme
The human resources and institutional development project aims at improving the human resources and institutional development in African transport and communications. The project entails the implementa-tion of the findings of Phase I of the programme at the country level. As a continuation of the human resources and institutional development programme, seminars on human and institutional development will be organized for some modes of transport and communications. The modes and issues to be considered will derive, inter alia, from the human resources and institutional development programme. Some training on thematic issues are developed. The agencies which have previously participated in this project may be expected to continue; these include the International Labour organization (ILO), the International Telecom-munication Union (ITU), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Con-ference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank, ECA and UNDP.
(b) Private sector participation in telecommunications development in Africa
Development of telecommunications in Africa has been constrained by many factors, principal among which are limited technical and financial resources. Recent discussions have identified private sector parti-cipation as a viable and attractive complement to the traditional government practices for development of this area.
The Abidjan colloquium on telecommunications and sustainable economic development in Africa initiated regional discussions on this issue. This was immediately followed by the Banjul Round-table. The Buenos Aires Declaration further emphasized the need for more rapid development of telecommunications in the developing regions of the world. In this regard, two telecommunications development sector study groups were established under the Telecommunication Development Bureau of ITU to prepare studies on specific development issues.
Africa must therefore take concrete steps in order to encourage private sector participation in developing its telecommunications sector. One possibility for regional action in this regard is to organize subregional workshops on private sector participation, as already begun in SADC region in 1994 with the support of USAID. While the regional economic communities would be the focus of such workshops, they must be organized within a regional framework so as to arrive at a global consensus. International and regional organizations such as ECA, ADB, OAU, ITU, the Pan-African Telecommunications Union (PATU) and the World Bank could prepare the regional framework for this purpose.
(c) Restructuring parastatal organizations and governmental institutions in the field of transport and communications: approaches and lessons from experiences in Africa
Based on the documents prepared by ECA, two meetings (one in French and one in English) will be organized for experts from African countries including representatives of the private sector, experts from subregional organizations and specialized consultants. The objective of the meetings will be to exchange methodologies and experiences in parastatal restructuring using case studies from already established (private) enterprises. It is expected that experts from private companies as well as from parastatals and other experienced consultants will substantially contribute. Based on the conclusions of the meetings, ECA will prepare an orientation paper to be disseminated to African countries and organizations.
(d) Financing transport and communications sectors in Africa
One workshop will be organized with the objective of strengthening African capacity in mobilizing resources for transport and communications sectors and will deal with the following: ways and means of increasing tax revenues as well as user charges in support of transport and communications development; and fiscal policies for promotion of indigenous private sector investment in the field of transport and communications.
(e) Commercialization of and private sector participation in transport and communications operations in Africa
The report will include the baseline assessment, mode-by-mode, of the performance of the transport and communications sectors in Africa; identification of the services which could be improved through commercialization, including privatization and management autonomy; identification of modalities for commercialization and criteria for selecting services to be commercialized, taking into account the compara-tive advantage of various options for the participation of the private sector in transport and communications operations.
2. Regional cooperation in transport and communications
(a) Subregional seminars on the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration on a New African Air Transport Policy
Seminars will be organized in collaboration with subregional organizations, the mechanism set up in Mauritius to monitor the progress of implementation, especially in routes development and traffic right issues for which specific mandate has been given.
(b) Assessment of implementation of international transit facilitation along selected transport corridors in Africa
This will be a review of the status and progress made in the implementation of studies and projects already conducted by UNCTAD, the World Bank, ECOWAS, PTA, SADC, UMA and other relevant institu-tions on transport facilitation in Africa. It will also assess the achievement of already established transit-transport authorities in the region. The review will enable ECA to determine problems in the region and to determine the entry point for workshops and other related issues to be addressed in transit transport during UNTACDA II and beyond. Activities to be undertaken include:
(a) Review of existing studies on transit transport;
(b) Missions to selected corridors in Eastern/Southern, Central, West and North Africa;
(c) Missions to selected organizations and institutions in Africa involved in transit-transport facilitation;
(d) Preparation of a report highlighting the African experience in the facilitation of transport, with policy recommendations to governments on short- and long-term steps necessary for the development of transport facilitation along the transport corridors in Africa.
The study will cover transport, communications and tourism aspects. A series of workshops on facilitation of international transport along the major corridors in Africa and the development and promotion of containerized transport. ECA, UNCTAD and the regional and subregional training institutions will develop the training curricular.
(c) Regional cooperation among African ports
Organization of a regular forum for the three subregional port management associations in order to enhance regional cooperation among them for rapid development. Strong regional cooperation among African ports is essential not only for elaboration of joint development policy, but also for coordination of Africa's position in international maritime community and port assemblies (American Association of Ports and Harbours, Baltic Ports Organization, European Community of Sea Ports Organization).
It is to be recalled that since 1987, ECA has organized three meetings of African ports experts and senior officials to discuss development and cooperation among ports. There is need to continue this series of meetings in the form of a regular forum (every two years). However, while the previous three meetings were organized by ECA, the three port management associations are expected to play a key role in organiz-ing the forum through joint preparation of the agenda, programme, substantive papers and intercessional pro-gramme of activities. ECA will continue serving as coordinating focal point. The other international agencies involved in the organization of the forum include UNCTAD, the International Maritime Organiza-tion (IMO) and ILO.
(d) Seminar on the establishment of mechanism of cooperation in maintenance of inter-State inland waterways
The objective of the seminar is to assist concerned member States to set up two pilot mechanisms of cooperation in the subregion, which will serve as an example for other subregions. ECA will prepare, in collaboration with national experts, a document specifying practical modalities for setting up similar mechanisms of cooperation in other subregions.
(e) Trans-African highways
This is a programme which is being funded from contributions by African member States. The pro- gramme covers, inter alia, the maintenance, rehabilitation and development of an inter-State road network and implementation of inter-State traffic facilitation.
(f) Manufacture of transport and communication equipment
The project entails the development of subregional centres for the manufacture of equipment and spare parts. The main activities will be the follow-up of the pre-feasibility studies and the start of the feasibility study if possible.
(g) COMESA, ECOWAS and ECCAS study on coastal shipping
The coastal shipping project in the ECOWAS and ECCAS subregions is funded by ECA and its main goal is to establish a joint African shipping line. The main aspects of this joint venture have already been identified and potential investors/partners are being sought. Similarly, the COMESA project is financed by European Union.
(h) African postal transit centres
This is a follow-up of the study on the establishment of regional and subregional transit centres in Africa, which was carried out in 1993. Four centres were identified: Addis Ababa, Harare, Abidjan and Cairo. Feasibility studies will be carried out under this project, to be funded through the UNTACDA Trust Fund.
3. Management information systems
(a) Transport database for Africa
Phase I of the project for the development of a regional transport database has been completed. The World Bank, UNDP and ECA will continue collaboration in the follow-up project. The activities for the next phase of the project include:
(a) Support to pilot countries in the finalization of outstanding recommendations on data collec-tion and maintenance;
(b) Mobilization of resources for the acquisition of hardware and software computer equipment for the establishment of the regional transport database at ECA;
(c) Finalization of data collection methodologies and calculations of performance indicators;
(d) Construction and compilation of transport data services for the region;
(e) Training in transport statistics.
(b) African transport and communications in figures
The publication will contain, inter alia, the assessment and analysis of the transport and communica-tions sectors since the adoption of the UNTACDA II programme, as well as the problems and solutions in selected corridors (facilitation, cost, customs, storage, training needs, etc.). The activities so far conducted by the Transport, Communications and Tourism Division for the establishment of a transport database within the framework of the UNTACDA II will facilitate this publication.
4. Seminars and workshops
(a) Review of road safety activities in Africa
The publication will be the lead paper for the third African Road Safety Congress to be organized in 1996. The objective is to capture the progress or lack of it in the development of road safety activities in Africa since the second Congress held in Addis Ababa in 1989. The paper will review the road safety situation in Africa, the progress achieved, the technology transfer and training and research programmes undertaken in Africa.
(b) Third African Road Safety Congress
The Congress will address the following issues: road safety situation in Africa, initiation, financing and organization of road safety work, requirements for the future, the various elements of road safety and their initiation. It will also initiate South-to-South collaborative efforts to reinforce the already existing cooperation between ECA and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
(c) Forum on African transport
The objective of the forum will be to review the emerging issues in African transport development and to discuss development issues with representatives of financing institutions, agencies and high-level inter-national experts in order to devise common strategies and secure support for specific projects for the development of transport infrastructure and services in Africa. It will also offer the opportunity for the private sector participation and the exhibition of technology, equipment, maintenance and road construction experience, including low-cost construction material.
Based on the conclusions of the forum, ECA will assist African countries to develop and prepare projects in accordance with the priority areas agreed. It is to be noted that a telecommunications forum for Africa is organized by ITU every four years, and therefore the proposed forum would focus only on trans-port aspects. However, ECA and ITU should collaborate in the organization of telecommunications forum in Africa for which COMESA has expressed the wish to host in its subregion.
(d) Subregional workshops on implementation of UNTACDA II strategies
Five workshops will be held, one in each subregion, to discuss ways and means of implementing aspects of UNTACDA II strategy which are specific to each subregion.
(e) Environmental issues in transport and tourism sectors in Africa: The reality and perspectives
The report will include the following issues:
(a) Environmental issues in Africa transport and tourism sectors such as the awareness, health, management of environment and sustainable development, measures including legislation, problematic issues, taxation, major cities pollution and noise impact, appropriate technology for the reduction of pollution by gas;
(b) Growth of transport and tourism and related risks to environment in Africa;
(c) Practical recommendations.
Case studies as well as the experience of other regions in this field may also be considered.
From the findings of the mid-term evaluation of the UNTACDA II programme and the recommenda-tions emanating therefrom, it is evident that success in the implementation of the programme during the second half of the Decade shall largely depend on the extent to which African member States accept and actually apply two key recommendations of the mid-term evaluation, namely:
(a) Concentration of the UNTACDA II programme on regional and subregional projects/pro-grammes, in view of their inherent attributes of physical integration, commonality of interest, cost effective- ness and wide distribution of benefits among many African countries; and
(b) Internalization of the activities, programmes and projects of UNTACDA II at all levels, thus, tailoring ambitions and plans to available and/or clearly identified resources from all sources.
Re-focusing and concentration of the programme on regional and subregional action requires active collaboration by African member States in identifying and agreeing on common projects or programmes and above all in pooling their resources together and preparing and making joint requests to the external institu-tions and organizations for financial and technical support especially when their own resources have proved inadequate.
The mid-term evaluation has clearly pointed out the danger and inevitable failures and disappoint- ments which have resulted in the past from planning without a time frame, availability of resources and the division of responsibility among the various partners and has therefore recommended that these elements be incorporated into the second phase programme. Both member States, subregional and regional IGOs, institu-tions and United Nations agencies have therefore been urged to ensure that the three elements are taken seriously into account in all activities and project of the Decade henceforth.
Another major and most pertinent finding of the mid-term evaluation is the fact that by failing to cooperate and promote regional and subregional activities and projects of common interest, African countries have not been able to take advantage of the funds specifically earmarked by some major multilateral interna-tional and continental financial and development institutions and organizations for regional and subregional activities.
In view of the fact that external resources have dwindled and will continue to dwindle in the foresee-able future, any hope of success during the remainder of the Decade period must be premised on three things, namely:
(a) A scaling down of sight to realistic levels;
(b) Ensuring that efforts are concentrated only on the most important activities of the most common good to most countries; and
(c) Internalization of the programme through greater reliance on the pooling of internal resources.
Member States are therefore strongly urged to vigorously promote the UNTACDA II programme by ensuring that all Decade projects are presented to financial institutions and donor organizations for funding and avoid the presentation of projects which are not consistent with the UNTACDA II programme, since such projects would seem to indicate the existence of parallel programmes and priorities.
Second United Nations Transport and Communications
Decade in Africa (UNTACDA II)
The Conference of Ministers,
Recalling its resolutions 710 (XXVI) of 12 May 1991 and 761 (XXVIII) of 4 May 1993 in which the programme of the second United Nations Transport and Communications Decade in Africa was adopted and the implementation of the programme approved,
Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolutions 1991/83 of 26 July 1991 and 1993/66 of 30 July 1993 by which the implementation of the programme was launched and additional resources obtained for its implementation, respectively,
Referring to United Nations General Assembly decisions 46/456 of 20 December 1991 and 48/455 of 21 December 1993 approving the launching of the Decade and providing resources for its implementation,
Further referring to resolutions ECA/UNTACDA/Res.91/84 of 8 February 1991, ECA/UNTACDA/Res.93/89 of 12 March 1993 and ECA/UNTACDA/Res.95/92 of 21 March 1995 of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport and Communications, respectively approving, launching and requesting additional funds for the continued implementation of the Decade programme,
Having considered the report of the mid-term evaluation of the Decade programme and the action programme derived therefrom,
Noting with appreciation the support which the United Nations Development Programme has continued to provide to the implementation of some regional programmes of UNTACDA II such as the human resources and institutional development and transport database programmes,
Further noting with concern the low level of implementation achieved during the first half of the programme due to the lack of resources,
Reaffirming the continued relevance and critical importance of UNTACDA II, especially towards the achievement of the regional integration objectives of the Abuja Treaty (1991) establishing the African Economic Community,
1. Requests the United Nations Development Programme to increase its level of support to UNTACDA II by funding part of the regional action programme for implementation of the second phase of the Decade programme;
2. Invites all donors to contribute further to the implementation of the second phase Decade programme approved by the tenth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport and Communications;
3. Requests the African, Caribbean and Pacific "Coordinating" Ministers of the European Development Fund to give appropriate and high priority to the Decade projects and programmes in the preparation of national and regional indicative programmes under the Second Financial Protocol of the Lome IV Convention;
4. Calls upon the development banks and participating financial institutions to continue to support the UNTACDA II programme and its mechanism to enable it effectively coordinate the development of transport and communications in Africa;
5. Appeals to the World Bank to maintain a high level of involvement in the funding of national projects and in the implementation of the UNTACDA II programme in general;
6. Requests the Economic Commission for Africa, in its capacity as lead agency of the Decade programme, to:
(a) Systematically disseminate information on all aspects of UNTACDA II, particularly its implementation to all partners of the programme through workshops, seminars, symposia and information bulletins or newsletters;
(b) Play a more active role in coordinating the UNTACDA II programme by first strengthening its own capacity to be able to provide the necessary technical backstopping and support at all levels to the programme implementation;
(c) Ensure that the second mid-term evaluation of the programme in 1997 includes a critical analysis of the extent to which the Decade objectives have been achieved;
(d) Prepare a consolidated report on the status of all the UNTACDA II project, on the basis of reports and information provided by member States and intergovernmental organizations on the progress made in the implementation of the national and subregional projects, respectively;
7. Requests the United Nations General Assembly to provide the Economic Commission for Africa, in its capacity as lead agency of the programme of the second Decade, with the necessary regular budget resources to enable it effectively and efficiently carry out the activities listed in paragraph 6(a) to (d) above;
8. Requests the Executive Secretary of the Commission to report to its next meeting on the progress made in the implementation of this resolution.