It is always good to be back from a deserved sabbatical. It feels good to observe from the terraces events as they happen in your beloved country of birth.
I come back at the height of an exceptionally good rainy season, where the national road system has been out to critical test.Before I continue, let me observe a minute of silence for our beloved brothers and sisters who lost their lives or limp on our roads since the festive season.Observed! For the deceased, may God and the ancestors be with them in their eternal resting place!For the injured, I wish you the fastest recovery.The rains have been extreme in most cases and our roads — already in bad shape before even the rainy season, except the Plumtree-Bulawayo-Harare- Mutare highway) — have been stretched to the limits.Transport infrastructure is very critical to tourism investment, development, marketing and promotion as a key enabler sector.Of critical importance is that Zimbabwe is lucky to be host of the Association of Southern Africa National Road Agencies (ASANRA), an association of national roads agencies or authorities in the SADC region.When Zimbabwe host the event in Victoria Falls, in a couple of months it should capitalise on ZASANRA’s vision to create a cost-effective harmonised, safe, effective, efficient and sustainable world-class road transport system cost-effectively.This vision is coherent with the overall goal of SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology which seeks to ensure the development of a safe, sustainable, efficient and effective road transport system in support of social-economic growth and development and, ultimately poverty alleviation.For Zimbabwe this is the time to share with other African countries experiences and do expertise transfer on how to sustainably manage our national road network.
This is very critical to the tourism and hospitality industry, which in itself is a low hanging fruit for national development and attraction of business.According to the Zimbabwe National Traffic Council, the Africa Transportation Technology Transfer Conference is a forum intended to share, exchange and debate experiences, best practices, and new technologies in the provision, maintenance and management of all modes of transport.It is also a forum for sharing and exchange of existing and new approaches on technology transfer that enables countries to develop effective management of transport infrastructures, which are safe, efficient, reliable and affordable.Of greater importance to Zimbabwe is that the conference format includes technical presentations, short courses, workshops as well as exhibitions on products, technologies and services applicable to African transport and the imminent establishment and operational Technology Transfer Centres as means for facilitating appropriate effective technology transfer in the transport sector.The Conference Theme is aptly named “Mobilising finance for transport infrastructural development and maintenance for poverty alleviation in Africa”.Given our situation there can never be any better moment for us to share such critical information, data, technology and experience in managing roads given the situation in which our roads are.No one doubts that our roads have become a death trap to all and sundry and that, roads play a major role in our national transportation system.While of late we have heavily invested in Victoria Falls International Airport and the rehabilitation of Plumtree-Harare-Mutare highway, the same cannot be said about the Harare-Masvingo highway and several other major national roads. The time to act is now.