Maputo Corridor users mark a year of existence

May 28, 2005
Author: Brenda Horne, MCLI




About 80 members and interested parties of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) met in Maputo earlier this month (19 May) to attend MCLI’s first annual general meeting and to look back on achievements during the first 12 months.

Jorge Ferraz, chief executive officer of Mozambique International Port Services (MIPS) and outgoing chairman of MCLI, said he was proud to see that a growing number of companies had renewed their confidence in the MCLI. He thanked members for their participation.

“MCLI started from scratch and we have worked hard during the first year to turn it into an organisation that represents the interests of the users along the Corridor. In our second year we will continue to build a solid bridge between the private and public sectors of Mozambique and South Africa. By working together we will make the Maputo Corridor first choice for the region’s importers and exporters.”

The rehabilitation of the Maputo Corridor began with the construction of the N-4 road in 2000, followed by the rehabilitation of the Port of Maputo in the beginning of 2003.

During the AGM the former director of Logistics and Operations at the Department of Trade & Industry, Elvin Harris, was unanimously elected interim chairman of the board.

“Elvin has the tight experience for our Corridor and he will be a valuable centerpiece in our efforts to turn the Corridor into a seamless transportation link between the two countries,” said Ferraz.

Immediately preceding the AGM, focus groups on the Border and the Rail held workshops, in which participants from the private and public sectors worked together to find solutions for operational inefficiencies along the Corridor.

Border inefficiencies are costly and operations need to be urgently improved, whereas the envisaged concessioning of the railway link between Ressano Garcia (on the SA border) and Maputo will attract substantial investments to rehabilitate the line and provide more and better railway connections in the corridor.

“The Maputo Corridor has great potential, but the operational hurdles need to be sorted out so that we can offer cost effective transport solutions to our clients and that the region can grow,” said Ferraz.

The third focus group, which was set up to attract more shipping lines to the Port of Maputo, met earlier in the week.

The Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) was established in February 2004 by a group of infrastructure investors, service providers and users to promote and further develop the Maputo Corridor (see Maputo Corridor Initiative launched in PORTS & SHIPS News section for 21 February, 2004). Members are drawn from South Africa and Mozambique and co-operate closely with organised business, engage with both Mozambican and South African authorities, and represent the combined views of all users of the Corridor.

It is the ultimate goal to transform the Corridor into a sustainable, highly efficient transportation route, creating an increasingly favourable climate for investment and new opportunities for communities along the length and breadth of the Corridor.

Note: Brenda Horne is CEO of the MCLI. The latter's website can be found at www.mcli.co.za



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