The Fast-growing Transport Network in Namibia

In Africa and the world, transport and industrialization are crucial contributors to economic growth. To this effect, Namibia is making tremendous efforts to ensure it doesn’t lag. In fact, its government is on a journey to make the country scoop the top sit in issues concerning transport development.

According to a recent World Economic Forum Indexing report, Namibia has the fastest growing transport network on the continent. Globally, Namibia continues to climb the transport ranking ladder swiftly, jumping more than 100 countries. The following are three contributors to the fast-growing transport network in Namibia. Put on your adventure glasses and let’s take a tour of the country.

  1. The rail transport network

Namibia is on a five-year plan to implement and transform the TransNamib railway. This mainly comes from recent negative transport growth resulting from freight road transportation. Consequently, Namibia, under the Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP), plans to make the rail network be the preferred transporter of bulk materials.

Similarly, the railway seeks to improve container services from port to rail and covers approximately 2687 km. Although old, the trains are massive contributors to the improvement of door-to-door convenience between rail and road. As it is, one train pulls more than 25 wagons, while each wagon carries up to 44 metric tons. According to locals, rail transport is cheaper hence utilized by many. As a result, the sector continues to record increasing transit volumes each coming day.

All the same, Namibia also has two tourist trains that offer an exciting trip of the desert from Windhoek and Pretoria to Swakopmund. These dirt cheap yesteryear trains allow tourists to gaze at the magical desert terrain. This explains why Namibia’s railway transport continues to record an increase in growth. By the end of last year, the railway industry snowballed by close to 24%.

  1. Air transport

Namibia’s air transport is slowly becoming profitable. The country operates eight airports. The national carrier is currently on a codeshare agreement with one of Africa’s giant air carriers, Kenya Airways. The partnership seeks to expand Namibia’s presence in Kenya and South Africa.

As of 2013, the country had 14 aircraft with more planes expected to come in from Airbus. The arrival of the new bunch of aeroplanes will undoubtedly increase the number of travelers Namibia handles each year.

Currently, Namibia operates a network of about 17 destinations in Africa but also has links with Germany. The airline serves about 9,000 seats weekly in Africa. The country’s Windhoek Hosea kutako International airport handles over half a million travelers yearly. Nevertheless, this airport is currently undergoing an upgrading process that is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

  1. Walvis Bay Corridor

In 1990, the Walvis Bay Corridor was a mere fishing port. Today, the Walvis Bay Corridor is a perfect example of the workability of public-private partnerships. It immensely boosts trade and places Namibia among the top countries that serve tons of waterway users in Africa.

In the same vein, the corridor offers the shortest route between West Namibia and Lusaka, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is also strategically positioned to serve North and South America, Europe and emerging markets in Asia. This makes Namibia put more focus on logistics with the main aim being to improve mechanisms of trade and security in the corridor.

Conclusively, Namibia is showing significant progress in its readiness to become a business hub in Africa. Although not yet there, the country will soon match the competitiveness of other African developing countries like Kenya and Rwanda. Nevertheless, Namibia ought to create more public-private partnerships with its neighbors. This is certainly the best way to ensure it realizes its goals sooner.

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