ASANRA making strides, but road safety still a concern

The Association of Southern Africa National Road Agencies (ASANRA) has, since its inception, made commendable strides in harmonising standards, systems, and procedures through the preparation of guidelines, among other efforts.

This was said by ASANRA president and Director General of the Mozambique National Roads Administration, Elias Paulo, at a media briefing on the outcomes of the 42nd ASANRA board meeting, which took place in Swakopmund from 08 to 11 May.

Paulo said the association established the Regional Technology Transfer and Capacity Building Programme with the objective of developing and sustaining active technology activities through effective technology centres, and providing professional and technical capacity in the region.

“ASANRA has also published and disseminated new technologies through its website and database of research and development projects. Moreover, the association has hosted eight bi-annual conferences in Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia,” he said.

Meanwhile Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer Conrad Lutombi noted that road safety is one of the main concerns in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. He said the road network has become increasingly unsafe over the past few years.

“This is a burden that our countries cannot carry. Therefore, as agencies tasked with the management of the regional road network, we should prioritise innovative road infrastructure design that enhances road safety,” Lutombi stated.

Road transport is the dominant mode and, in some cases, the only form of access, especially for rural communities. The quality and condition of the network, therefore, significantly influence the performance of every aspect of ASANRA Member States’ economies.

ASANRA was established in 2001 in Mozambique in line with the SADC Protocol of Transport, Communication and Meteorology. Namibia has been a member since its establishment.

One of ASANRA’s objectives is to enhance regional policy coordination and integrate road transport systems, with the key goals of improving intra-regional road transport efficiency, lowering transport costs and saving time.

The meeting was attended by 30 delegates from nine member countries who amongst others discussed technology transfer and capacity building, research and development, road safety, road network management and financing, and construction and maintenance.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency