The 33rd meeting of the Northern Corridor Council of Ministers was held early this month.
The online meeting with the theme: “Towards a Resilient, Smart and Responsive Corridor for Trade and Transport Logistics” brought together Ministers from the six Northern Corridor Member States of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. Representatives of some Regional Economic Communities and Development Partners also participated in this virtual meeting.
The Northern Corridor Council of Ministers emphasised the importance of the Northern Corridor Transport route and the role it plays in promoting international trade and regional integration.
During the event, the Member State of the Republic of Kenya handed over the leadership helm to the Republic of Rwanda as the Chair of the Northern Corridor Policy Organs for the next two years (2021-2023). The vice-chair went to Uganda while the 1st and 2nd Rapporteur seats went to Burundi and DRC, respectively.
Members of the Northern Corridor highest Policy Organ also lauded the efforts and the progress made by Member States in developing and improving regional transport infrastructure projects such as Road Transport Networks, Dry posts and Inland Container Depots, One Stop Border Posts, the Standard Gauge Railway and the Oil pipeline.
The Ministers re-affirmed the commitment of their respective countries towards integrating the Road Side Stations Program in Transport Infrastructure Development along the Northern Corridor highways and further directed the Northern Corridor Secretariat to Promote Road Safety and advocate for the rehabilitation and development of Ports and Inland water transport along the Northern Corridor Region.
Though there are still some challenges for the Northern Corridor region to achieve its full potential in trading between the countries, the Northern Corridor Member States were committed to work in synergy to direct adequate resources towards the development of the Multimodal Transport infrastructure Projects with the aim to promote Intra-regional trade and integration.
About the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement
The Northern Corridor Transit Agreement (NCTA) signed in Bujumbura, Burundi, on February 19, 1985, by the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda covered the use of transportation facilities of East Africa linking the countries to the Port of Mombasa, in Kenya. The signatories ratified the Agreement in 1985 and 1986, and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) acceded to it on May 8, 1987, in Kigali.
The revised Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement (NCTTA), was signed in Nairobi, Kenya, on 06 October 2007, between the Governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. The Republic of South Sudan acceded to the Agreement as the sixth Member State in 2012.
The 2007 Northern Corridor Agreement also refers to close coordination between Governments and the private sector as a key factor in the development of trade and transit facilitation. It acknowledges the importance of developing the Northern Corridor as a transit and transport system that is economical, safe, and environmentally sustainable. In light of this, the Northern Corridor monitors the performance of the Corridor on weekly, monthly and annual basis. For more details, visit www.top.ttcanc.org or www.kandalakaskazini.go.ke
Purpose of the Agreement
The 2007 Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement supports the use of the Northern Corridor to be a seamless and most effective route for the surface transport of goods between Member States.
As a result, the Contracting States have agreed to grant each other the right of transit through their respective territories and to provide all possible facilities, regulations, and procedures for that purpose without any discrimination.