Addis Ababa, 24 February 2014 (ECA) - Tanzania is a major gateway to the global economy for its landlocked neighbours of Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Malawi as well as for the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The efficiency of the Central Corridor, particularly the port of Dar es Salaam is therefore critical not only for Tanzania’s economy but also for the economies of these countries. It is in this context that the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) organised a national workshop on Trade Facilitation for Tanzania on 13-14 February 2014 in Dar es Salaam.
The workshop was organised within the framework of a United Nations project that aims at building the capacity of landlocked and transit developing countries in Trade Facilitation. More than 30 participants representing various stakeholders of the transit transport process in Tanzania, including Transport Operators, Freight Forwarders, Police, Customs, Ministry of Transport, and Port Authority, among others were trained on methodologies to improve the management and performance of the Central Corridor.
The workshop supported the development a national Cluster, as part of a collaborative approach to transit transport management that brings together various stakeholders to share information, identify transit concerns, coordinate facilitation measures and define a common vision as well as an action plan to address challenges. Participants also used the Time/Cost-Distance methodology, developed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), to evaluate the time spent and costs for different segments of the Central Corridor. This helped them to identify and quantify bottlenecks on the Corridor. A major outcome of the workshop was the decision by Cluster members for the Prime Ministers’ Office in Tanzania to chair the Cluster. This signals a strong national ownership of the Cluster.
ECA’s work in the Central Corridor complements the Commissions research on trade facilitation undertaken through its African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), including in the context of the African Union (AU) Action Plan on Boosting Intra-African Trade and the Continental Free Trade Area. It also feeds into ECA’s support to African WTO negotiators in Geneva on trade facilitation issues.