African road funds need new revenue collection instruments: Ipinge

The outgoing president of the African Road Maintenance Fund Association (ARMFA), Ali Ipinge, has called on African road funds to reposition themselves and adopt new revenue collection instruments in the face of global threats.

He made the call at the ARMFA presidential handover ceremony in Swakopmund on Tuesday.

Ipinge, who is also the chief executive officer of the Road Fund Administration (RFA), said that the user-pay principle is one instrument that has proven to provide financial stability for road maintenance and generate value and benefits for road users and the public globally.

“Countries such as Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia have also positioned themselves to not only fund road maintenance and rehabilitation from road user charges, but are going beyond their traditional mandate and undertaking new development and construction with government support,” he said.

Ipinge said such approaches allow for better planning and offer end-to-end solutions to prioritise road development.

“The idea of Africa migrating to fourth generation road funds, as developed countries have done, is therefore not far-fetched,” he stated, adding that with the correct application of these principles, Africa will achieve its development goals as enshrined in Agenda 2063.

Ipinge also called for the construction and design of climate-resilient roads of high standard following increased flooding and other natural disasters on the continent, which have caused damage to roads and loss of life.

The new president of ARMFA, Moussa Essaie, who is also the CEO of the Cameroon Road Fund, said the improvement of road infrastructure relies on both a dynamic partnership and active synergy between stakeholders.

Essaie said the recruitment of the executive secretary, who will be responsible for drafting and implementing an operational action plan for each of the association’s objectives in its strategic plan, is crucial for ARMFA.

“Additionally, we will prepare advocacy files for recognition, on the one hand with the African Union and international organisations concerning road maintenance financing, and on the other hand with the governments of member countries for the sustainability and harmonious development of road maintenance funds,” he said.

ARMFA was established in 2003. Its objectives include developing a network for the exchange of experiences and information on the practices for financing road maintenance in Africa and the operation of the funds.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency