The Transit Transport Co-ordination Authority of the Northern Corridor (TTCA-NC) launched the Transport Observatory Project (TOP) on December 7, 2012 in Mombasa, Kenya.
The project was implemented with support from TradeMark East Africa ( TMEA ) and partnership with the Kenya Transporters Association (KTA). The TOP will monitor performance along the Northern Corridor through identifying total time delays from all possible causes as a means towards establishing an evidence-based regional platform that can be used by the TTCA-NC as an operational tool and by the region’s policy makers.
The delays will be analysed using a set of indicators disaggregated by cause, location, date, time of day as well as, define parameters such as direction of travel, nationality of vehicles and types of cargo. The data collected will be stored in a database for analysis and dissemination online at http://top.ttcanc.org and also use offline methods.
Mr Donat Bagula, the Executive Secretary for the TTCA-NC remarked, “For this achievement, the TTCA-NC Secretariat is very excited and thankful for the co-operation received from various key stakeholders and transporters in the donation of data towards the TOP project. The Secretariat also encourages more stakeholders to participate in providing the data required in order to enhance the analysis.”
Information analysed from this process will be disseminated to partner states through various government agencies, private sector and civil society organisations and the media, with the view of informing decision making, problem solving and policy formulation towards the improvement of the Northern Corridor’s performance. Ultimately, this is expected to have an impact on improving the business environment in the region by reducing the costs of transport, the costs of doing business and leading to the improvement of livelihoods in the EAC region and for the Northern Corridor Member States.
The improved performance of the Northern Corridor, through its trade infrastructure, is critical to East Africa’s economic prosperity, as it is the main corridor through which import and export merchandise enters and exits the region.
TMEA is supporting the TTCA-NC with collaboration from the KTA to develop a tool that will continuously identify and map the various bottlenecks, including non-tariff barriers to trade along transit routes, and to create a platform that will then be used by policy makers to propose workable solutions to eliminate the identified hurdles. This platform will also be used towards monitoring the corridor performance to highlight the problems that need to be addressed, but to also identify positive changes that can be replicated for greater success.
TMEA has delivered 100 GPS kits to the KTA so that data can be collected through the KTA members to assist in developing the 25 indicators so far identified. These indicators include monitoring of time wastage along the trade routes associated with multiple stoppages, identification of the causes of these delays, qualitative and quantitative indicators to monitor node performance on the corridor (e.g. ports and border stations) as well as indicators on costs and fees charged at various points on the Northern corridor. (At the port of Mombasa, borders, weighbridges and the transit route).
This data once analysed will provide informed and evidence-based opportunities for the development and implementation of policies towards resolving these delays for cost effective operations.
TMEAs Deputy CEO Country Programmes, David Stanton noted, “The Northern Corridor is an important transit Corridor enabling trade in East Africa. Improvement in the quality and efficiency of the corridor’s infrastructure, starting from the Port of Mombasa to the weighbridges, the pipeline, the railways and the border posts is a key and critical intervention that will lead to the reduction of costs of transportation and to lowering the cost of doing business in the region.”
“The TTCA-NC’s Transport Observatory Project is an important mechanism that can be used to monitor corridor performance in order to highlight opportunities for further improvement to the benefit of all East Africans. The TOP will also ensure that policies passed on the Northern Corridor are based on evidence and can be monitored to see whether the problems have been resolved or not so that further corrective action can be taken. TMEA is proud to be associated with the TTCA-NC on the development and launch of this innovative tool,” added Stanton.
At the launch, Jane Njeru, the CEO of the Kenya Transporters Association noted, “The project will assist members of KTA to identify non-tariff barriers (NTBs) along the Northern Corridor and once they have been identified, seek solutions for resolving them. The project will also assist KTA to perform advocacy for our members from an informed perspective.”
Currently, the TOP incorporates data ranging from various stakeholders’ ICT systems and Roads Surveys and the results can now be disseminated by an online web based system (http://top.ttcanc.org ) as well as a quarterly report so that key issues can be identified, discussed and be resolved in a timely and effective manner.
The established TOP framework is presently capable of monitoring, measuring and tracking up to 25 key performance indicators related on volume and capacity, transit time and delays, rates and costs, efficiency and productivity.