Tanzania and Zambia on Saturday signed two bilateral agreements seeking to facilitate cross-border road transportation of both passengers and freights between the countries.

TanzaniaTanzania’s Finance Minister Saada Mkuya and Zambia’s Minister for Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Yamfwa Mukanga signed the agreements and promised a smooth transport environment between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka.
The agreements replaces the one signed in 1999 by the two countries with the aim of overcoming the bottlenecks of road transport also called non-tariff barriers.

Dar es Salaam port is the gateway into East and Central Africa through the central corridor of transport that connects Tanzania with Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Kenya.

The road transport agreements aim at facilitating trade between the two countries through Tunduma/Nakonde, the busiest border in Tanzania in terms of traffic from Dar es Salaam port to landlocked countries.
In 2013/14, Zambia transported 1.86 million tons of cargo through Dar es Salaam port and Tunduma border, Mkuya said.

Mukanga said the new agreements signed have been aligned to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) model road transport agreements.

He also advised that it was better the road signs at border posts be translated to Kiswahili for more Tanzanians to understand the language they speak.

“It would be wise for the Zambian side to consider mounting information billboards on the Dar corridor that directly meet the linguistic expectations of the drivers from Tanzania,” he said, adding that the move would reduce traffic accidents.

“Zambia seeks to eliminate or reduce hindrances and impediments to the movement of persons, goods, equipment and services as part of the objectives of attaining a fully integrated infrastructure,” said Mukanga.
The agreements seek among other issues to improve efficiency of permit issuance, border control procedures and the operation and maintenance of transport and trade databases.

They will also safeguard against abuse of road transport infrastructure and to recover infrastructure costs. Enditem

-Xinhua

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