The private sector of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is virtually attending the Northern Corridor’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) stakeholders committee and technical committee meeting taking place in Rwanda from May 30 to June 3, 2022.
The executive secretariat of the Northern Corridor has explained that the DRC Representative has not physically attended and explained they are virtually following this meeting through ICT platforms.
According to some journalists, this absentia might be related to the tensions between Rwanda and DRC following the recent escalated conflicts between M23 and DRC Army (FARDC).
Journalists suggest that strong private sectors in Northern Corridor influence politicians.
The Representative of Burundi private sector, Nzoyihera Frorbert said that the Northern Corridor has solved many problems to pave the way for free movement of people and goods, but he added that its operations sometimes face some challenges.
“I am not politician, but to close or to open borders is for politicians..our wish is to let all borders opened and this will facilitate free movement of people and goods. We have to note that the functioning of this corridor, sometimes faces the challenges,” he said.
The private sector is looking to its development and therefore business people urge the politicians to gear up efforts toward addressing the challenges they are facing along the corridor, added Mercy Ireri from Kenya.
“What we look forward as private sector stakeholders and most specifically as transporters is addressing the barriers; looking at the gap of harmonisation of regulations and also integration of the system that govern u as transporters across the countries.
Also, what we look forward to is the improved network and collaboration with government institutions,” Ireri.said.
Ireri said that business people are glad to have the government institutions represented in the meetings.
“Once we are discussing this issue, we are happy that they are here, they are listening to us and eventually we might be able to address challenges we are experiencing in the corridor,” the official noted.
Executive Secretary of Northern Corridor Secretariat, Omae Nyarandi said that what they do could influence politicians will.
“The politicians can talk, but if the lower people , the businessmen are working, business will continue. The countries, economy depends on the business people at lower levels, who are able to interact and interchange,” he said.
The Northern Corridor is a multimodal trade route linking to the maritime Port of Mombasa in Kenya.
It serves the Member States of Burundi, DRC Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda under the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement (NCTTA) treaty.
The Corridor is governed by the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement signed in 2007 (formerly the Northern Corridor Transit Agreement signed in 1985), and NCTTCA was established to oversee the implementation of the Agreement.
NCTTCA is mandated to facilitate trade, and movement of people, stimulate economic and social development, transform the Northern Corridor into a development corridor by stimulating investments, and implement strategies for accelerating economic and social growth while ensuring environmental sustainability.
During the opening of the 3rd Northern Corridor PPP Committee Meeting held online on 15th April 2021, Dr. Belio Kipsang, CBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Regional and Northern Corridor Development and Chairman of the Executive Committee said that Public Private Partnership is a key component to ensure a sustainable and competitive corridor.
“People must take this important opportunity to share information and experiences with a view to identifying available PPP investment opportunities along the corridor,” he said.