Zambia a landlocked country has called for increased international cooperation to achieve sustainable transportation at national and regional level for landlocked nations.
Speaking at the World Bank’s briefing on the Sustainable Mobility for all Initiative in New York, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim Ms. Christine Kalamwina said there was need to build momentum and synergies on the importance of sustainable transportation to complement national and regional efforts through improved cooperation.
Ms. Kalamwina assured the World Bank of Zambia’s support and cooperation in promoting sustainable mobility and implementing the goals and targets towards achieving sustainable transport at all levels.
“Zambia as Chair of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries do recognize the importance of Sustainable Transport,” Ms. Kalamwina said. “Zambia and all other LLDCs face special challenges that are associated with the lack of direct territorial access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from world markets. Due to geographical position, the LLDCs’ international trade is dependent on transiting through other countries, with substantially increased expenses for transport and other transaction costs as a result of the additional border crossings and long inland distances.”
She said landlocked countries’ geographical position reduce their competitiveness and negatively affects overall development of the countries.
“Improvement of transport systems as well as physical infrastructure in the LLDCs and transit countries to allow smooth transit connectivity of the LLDCs to the seaports is therefore important,” she said. “Enhanced bilateral and regional cooperation is important to allow for joint soft infrastructure programmes, harmonisation of policies and shared legal framework between the LLDCs and their transit countries.”
The Chargé d’Affaires said sustainable transport was indispensable and very important to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Vienna Programme of Action.
She said the World Bank’s new initiative should focus on the increased involvement and integration of member states to address a huge infrastructure gap in transport and ICT infrastructure to be able to meet objectives of interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ms. Kalamwina called for multilateral cooperation to strengthen regional projects through increased financing and a deliberate focus on strategic regional tailored solutions to assist in the preparation and implementation of regional projects.
“Zambia has heavily invested in road, rail, air and water transportation. Some of the projects includes implementation of the Link Zambia 8000 Road Project aimed at connecting all districts by road and onwards to the neighbouring countries,” said Ms. Kalamwina. “Link Zambia 8000 Road project has significantly transformed the country into a land-linked country with a good network to all our eight neighbouring countries. The aim is to ensure that Zambia becomes the preferred transit point in the region in line with our Vision 2030 Development Agenda.”