Africa's Connectivity Challenge

Fragmentation into small-scale economies

Despite a slight improvement in the past ten years, Africa remains fragmented. Cross-border movements suffer from long delays and cumbersome procedures at borders, arbitrary transit tariffs, transport restrictions, and a lack of security for transport users. As a result, intraregional and international transport is costly, uncertain, and slow, thereby hindering trade. The situation is worst for Africa's 16 landlocked countries where transport prices account for 15 to 20 percent of import costs. Estimates indicate that reducing transport costs could lead to a whopping 25 percent increase in trade.

40% of the final price of goods
in Africa is due to high transport costs
Intra-African trade is a mere 15%
compared to 61% in Asia and 67% in Europe
56% above the world average:
the cost to import a container in Africa
Responsive image
Testimonial of Mr. Emmanuel Gouali Yoro Cabinet Director, Department of Community Territorial Administration and Transport (DATC), West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)

 

SSATP's Response

Promoting integration, connectivity and cohesion

African countries have yet to seize the huge socio-economic opportunities that improved economic integration and cross-border trade and transport can unlockRecognizing that efficient transport systems are critical for boosting economic growth and development, SSATP facilitates trade and transport reforms that ultimately improve access to goods and services, thereby linking African communities to national and international markets. Closely aligned with the African Union's regional integration agenda, SSATP's support involves:

  • Promoting effective policy and strategy formulation and implementation for corridor development at the country and regional levels, including integrated corridor development and performance-based monitoring mechanisms that support evidence-based decision making.
  • Developing the institutional capacity of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), corridor management authorities, and national agencies to hold inclusive policy dialogues on regional integration.
  • Facilitating cooperation among regional institutions and advocating for policy reform at the continental level through the Regional Economic Communities' Transport Coordination Committee (REC-TCC).
  • Promoting efficient logistics services by supporting RECs and African countries with establishing legal and regulatory frameworks aimed at improving the performance of transport and logistics operators. 

The program's main activities involve conducting assessments, preparing case studies, building capacity based on stakeholder needs, disseminating best practices, and advocating for and supporting the application of knowledge.  

Towards an Integrated Africa

Achieving results on the ground

Strengthened capacity of regional port authorities: In collaboration with the respective port management associations, SSATP supported approximately 40 African ports in East, West, South and Central Africa. By preparing guidelines on the concession of port container terminals, SSATP helped strengthen the capacity of policymakers and port authorities to understand key issues at stake when preparing and managing container terminal concessions, with the goal of maximizing the economic benefits that countries can yield through concessions.

Using big data to improve corridor performance: SSATP, in close collaboration with Eastern and Southern Africa's corridor management institutions and the Federation of Eastern and Southern Africa Transport Associations (FESARTA), developed a web-based Truck Monitoring System (TMS) for analyzing border crossing and route trucking times using GPS data obtained from truck fleet management and customs tracking systems. Currently, the TMS covers 42 border posts and 50 routes across East and Southern Africa, with additional routes under consideration. 

workers at port container terminal in Mauritius

Featured Publication

The West and Central Africa Trucking Competitiveness working paper sheds light on trucking sector inefficiencies in the region, and presents an analytical framework to assess trucking sector reforms, with an emphasis on the political economy and feasibility of implementation.

A Beacon of Transport Knowledge

Strengthening institutional capacities

As part of its knowledge agenda, SSATP focuses on strengthening the capacity of RECs, corridor management authorities, national agencies, and regional logistics service providers, providing the tools needed to monitor and understand the root causes of poor performance along regional corridors.

Working in close cooperation with the Regional Economic Communities' Transport Coordination Committee (REC-TCC), SSATP aims to ensure that sound transport policies are implemented and harmonized at the continental, regional and country levels. By convening key stakeholders who work on trade facilitation in Africa, the REC-TCC serves as an important forum for exchanging experience and good practices, as well as effectively coordinating programs and activities on the ground.

On a regular basis, SSATP produces publications that document the work undertaken in collaboration with member countries; highlight policy recommendations, good practices and lessons learned across the continent; and address knowledge gaps in the transport sector. 

Regional Integration Pillar - Wrap-Up Presentation at SSATP 2019 Annual General Meeting

Presented by Yaya Yedan, SSATP's Regional Integration Pillar Lead, on November 26, 2019 at SSATP's…

Projecting Regional Integration in DP4

Presented by Yaya Yedan, SSATP Regional Integration Pillar Lead, on November 27, 2019 at SSATP's…

Regional Integration Proposed Results Framework for DP4

Presented by Yaya Yedan, SSATP Regional Integration Pillar Lead, on November 27, 2019 at SSATP's…

Latest News & Events

Cotonu
Transit Workshop for West and Central Africa: SSATP – WCO – IRU – ALCO

April 11, 2018 

Throughout its activities on many corridors in Africa, the SSATP had the opportunity to witness the diversity of the approaches and solutions adopted to improve corridor performance, but also to note…

Abidjan
REC-TCC Meeting in Abidjan hosted by ACMA

November 21, 2016 

The Regional Economic Communities Transport Coordination Committee (REC-TCC) facilitated by SSATP is the premier forum providing the Africa regional integration and trade facilitation community the…

UNEP Headquarters, Nairobi
Transport Coordination Committee of the Regional Economic Communities (REC-TCC) Meeting

October 27, 2014 

Integration, connectivity and cohesion was identified as one of the focus areas of the SSATP during its third development plan (DP3 2014-2018). The objectives of the SSATP in this area are to: (i)…