The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), plans to launch a tripartite transport corridor trip monitoring system to enhance trade within the wider membership.
Preparatory works for launch are already underway and the initiative is expected to benefit Zimbabwe and its regional sister countries who operate under the 21-member bloc.
The piloting of this project is planned for sections of the north-south (NS) and Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi (WBNL) corridors, which transit Zambia to the Kasumbalesa Border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The initial focus will be on the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) and later move to other borders using a multimedia approach encompassing the community radio, television and social media.
An Inter-Agency Technical Coordination Committee (IATCC) is being set up for the Chirundu OSBP to come up with recommendations on how to address operational challenges at the border during and after Covid-19.
To prepare for the project, a CTMS virtual workshop was conducted in August this year for stakeholders, incorporating public and private transport operators and their associations. The meeting came up with procedures for operators, drivers or crew members and officials performing compliance validation at border posts and other roadside check points.
Since then, Zambia has provided coordinates for way-points, among them, Covid-19 test and isolation for transport crews in various provinces in the pilot corridor such central, copper-belt, Lusaka, Southern and Western and North-Western provinces.
“Operators along these routes are expected to register a trip on the CTMS, which has been mapped to enable operators to follow.
“Two companies in Zambia have started the process of registering their fleet and drivers in preparation for the launch,” said Comesa.
Zambia has also commenced the procurement of the hand-held devices to be deployed at the roadside for the CTMS Pilot. It is hoped that the devices will be available from this week to allow for software installation and training of officials prior to the launch of the pilot project. In addition, Zambia has designated Covid-19 testing centres where transport operators and their drivers can access these services country-wide before the commencement of their cross-border trips.