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Partnerships have been crucial in the successful overall implementation of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) projects in Angola. It is to give an impetus to the Bank’s cooperation with the country that, the Bank’s Country Manager, Dr. Joseph Martial Ribeiro, on 29 March 2018 in Luanda, called on the Transport Minister, Dr. Augusto Tomás.
The meeting focused on the Bank-financed National transport master plan update and pre-feasibility study for a railway link between Angola and Zambia. Obviously, the country’s strategic location offers great potential for regional integration and regional trade within the Southern Africa Economic Community (SADC), as well as in the Economic Community of Central African States (ECAS).
While welcoming the excellent cooperation between the Bank and Angola, the Minister expressed the wish to see the Bank's Country Office in accelerating the implementation of transformative projects that would contribute to economic diversification and reduce regional economic imbalances. The Minister also recognized the Bank's pivotal role in the preparation of the National transport master plan study update, in particular, the proposed railway link interconnection between Angola and Zambia which will contribute to stimulating regional integration, trade and job opportunities. The Minister also expressed the need for stronger link of the results of the Transport Master Plan with the key achievements made in the sector over the past decade as well as Government’s future plans for the sector. In addition, the Minister expressed interest to benefit from Bank’s knowledge and support in the design of efficient systems for enhancing better supervision and sustainable management and maintenance of the country’s infrastructure (e.g. roads, railways; ports and airports). He also expressed the need for technical assistance on project design, preparation, implementation and monitoring, as well as support in financing an intermodal transportation management system (e.g. an electronic platform to manage multimodal transport tariffs covering road, maritime and rail Systems).
In this context, Dr. Ribeiro thanked the Minister for the dissemination of the preliminary finding of the National Transport Master Plan Study and requested support in ensuring speed processing of project’s disbursement requests as the study is planned for completion by December 2018 and will seek to identify priority projects for possible financing by the Bank and other development partners. He also encouraged the Minister to set up a steering committee so as to ensure ownership by all sectors involved (transport, construction and environment) and enhance quality control. As the Bank is currently refining its portfolio of new projects under the Country Strategy Paper 2017-2021, Ribeiro also took the opportunity to inform on the status of ongoing portfolio comprising 9 projects worthy USD 769 million. He also requested information regarding the availability of feasibility studies and detailed designs of key priority projects in the transport sector that could be considered for appraisal.