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Tuesday, 24 September 2019 16:23

Developed road networks are vital to economic development

Written by  Tione Andsen
Malata(l), Mumba (c) and Gondwe (r) during the opening ceremony - Pic by Tione Andsen Malata(l), Mumba (c) and Gondwe (r) during the opening ceremony - Pic by Tione Andsen

Salima, September 24, 2019:  Roads Fund Administration (RFA) has said developed and maintained roads are key condition for accelerating economic development and social transformation in southern Africa region.

Chairperson for RFA Board of directors, Chancy Gondwe made the remarks Tuesday when he opened a four day African Road Maintenance Funds Association (ARMFA) Southern Africa Focus Group (ASAFG) meeting at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima whose theme is “Ensuring Value for Money in Road Works”.

He noted that Roads Funds play a critical role of ensuring that sustainable road financing by guaranteeing availability of funds for road construction and maintenance.

“Our countries are enjoying huge gains emanating for the existence of second generation Roads funds. We are still far short of the annual road maintenance needs and requirements, funding for routine and periodic maintenance is significantly increasing in all our countries,” Gondwe pointed out.

The Chairperson added that the clear and separate institutional arrangements for the Roads Funds and Roads Authorities are enchaining transparency and accountability in road financing and road management by providing checks and balances at decision making levels.

“Road conditions, especially on paved roads, are reportedly improving and there is much more work that the people are seeing being done on the road networks in all our countries now that ever before,” he explained.

Gondwe observed that road users are now demanding quality road works and value for their money and the media is awash with cases of failed road works which either deteriorate before their design life or develop serious potholes even before the contractors demobilize from their sites.

He hailed five of the eight focal group member countries for attending the meeting which clearly demonstrates their commitment for the group in attaining ARMFA objectives and norms.     

Chairperson of ARMFA Southern Africa Focal Group, Engineer, Wallece Mumba said the meetings are critical where member states share experience, innovations and programmes.

He said the gathering has brought key stakeholders in the disbursement of funds for roads construction and maintenance where we want to remind each other on the importance of put value for money for funds being managed in various countries.

Chief Excutive Officer (CEO) for RFA in Malawi, Stewart Malata said the meetings are helpful in that they grow the networks and deepen the ties amongst Road Maintenance Funds in the region and entire continent.

He said the Southern Africa Focal Group is the most active grouping within ARMFA and Malawi has benefitted a lot though interactions in this grouping.

Delegates to the meeting have come from Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and host country, Malawi.

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