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Roads should be used to advance progress and prosperity

Roads should be used to advance progress and prosperity

Staff Reporter
INFRASTRUCTURE like roads and other assets plays an integral role in national economic development.
Upon the official inauguration of the Roads Authority head office that the enterprise supports Namibia’s economic development through the management, planning and construction of the road infrastructure network, which is essential for trade facilitation, industrialisation, socio-economic development and regional development and integration.
“I hope this new building signifies that the Roads Authority will play a more prominent role in our efforts to bring prosperity to the Namibian people,” the President said.
Dr. Geingob said roads are not just the backbone of the country’s economy, but are also important for the advancement of Government’s goals to improve the lives of residents.
“As Government, we have made a commitment to continue renovation, upgrading, maintenance and expansion of critical sections of our road network, with a view to ensuring safe and convenient traveling, stimulating economic activities, and facilitating the movement of goods and services within Namibia and across our borders. It is my firm belief that with the construction of this Head Office, which has enabled the Roads Authority to fill critical positions, we are witnessing the dawn of a period of accelerated growth and modernization of Namibia’s road network.”

President Geingob’s speech at the official inauguration of the Roads Authority head office reads as follows:

I am delighted to partake in the inauguration of the new Roads Authority Head Office.
The Roads Authority is an integral role player in our national developmental efforts. This entity supports the economic development of our country through the management, planning, construction and designing of road infrastructure networks, which are essential for trade facilitation, industrialization, socio-economic development and regional integration. It is my hope that this new building signifies that the Roads Authority will play a larger role in our efforts to bring prosperity to the Namibian people.
It is easy to get distracted by the splendor and aesthetic appeal of this modern building but let us not forget the sterling efforts of those who made this project a reality. Behind this achievement, stand accomplished and hardworking individuals – contractors, suppliers, planners, engineers and managers whose expertise, labour and teamwork is being recognized today.
There is an adage in the corporate world, which says, “You are either adding to the vision or you are adding to division.”
Today, we celebrate the achievements of those who have added to the vision of prosperity, by subscribing to the spirit of Harambee and thereby pulling in one direction, to complete the construction of this Head Office.
It is a well-known fact that roads are not only regarded as the backbone of our country’s economy, but are also crucial for the advancement of our government’s goals to improve the lives of all our citizens. For these reasons, the Government of Namibia has, since independence, invested greatly in expanding the existing road network and upgrading the standard of our roads and furthermore, we have invested in other transport infrastructure development such as rail, ports and aviation, in order to meet the national demand and position Namibia as the gateway to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
SADC has prioritized infrastructure development by recognizing it as prerequisite for the creation of larger markets and greater economic opportunities. According to the SADC Secretariat, “Infrastructure is critical for promoting and sustaining regional economic development, trade and investment, and will contribute to poverty eradication and improved social conditions.” Namibia is proud to contribute to the SADC vision of infrastructure development through the continued upgrading of our road network which is a catalyst for national and regional economic growth.
Namibia is currently accessible by all SADC member states. Land-locked countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are now sea-linked, having access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Port of Walvis Bay, and some land-linked, thanks to the efficient road infrastructure which forms our transport corridors. I commend the Roads Authority for the role played in contributing to the development of Namibia and SADC infrastructure.
As Government, we have made a commitment to continue renovation, upgrading, maintenance and expansion of critical sections of our road network, with a view to ensuring safe and convenient traveling, stimulating economic activities, and facilitating the movement of goods and services within Namibia and across our borders. It is my firm belief that with the construction of this Head Office, which has enabled the Roads Authority to fill critical positions, we are witnessing the dawn of a period of accelerated growth and modernization of Namibia’s road network.
Our commitment to establishing a world class road network also speaks to the greater ambition of realizing an integrated African Continent which is politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance, as encapsulated under the African Union’s Agenda 2063. However, to develop Africa, the integration of our continent can only be made possible if we first establish integration at the level of our Regional Economic Communities (RECS), before progressing to the rest of Africa.
In this regard, AU leaders will be meeting in Niger next week to mark the signing into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which among other objectives, aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the the African Customs Union.
As Namibians, we should feel a sense of pride in having a road network in place which can not only support our domestic developmental aspirations, but also those of our region and the continent as a whole.
We give credit to the Roads Authority for the role it has played in ensuring that Namibia’s road network ranks not only among the best in the region, but amongst the best on the continent.
As I conclude, it is my hope that this new Head Office will provide an enabling working environment which will contribute to the enhancement of the Roads Authority’s efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out its mandate.
I leave you with a quote from Turkish author and poet Mehmet Murat Ildan, who said, “If there is a nice road to your destination, you are lucky; if there isn’t any, then you are even luckier because you will have the chance to be a road-creator.“
Indeed we are lucky, because through the spirit of Harambee, we can work together as Government, as the Roads Authority, as stakeholders within the transport and economic sectors to be road-creators.
Together we can build the roads that will unify us, together we can build the roads that will empower us and together we can build the roads that will propel us, onwards towards development, integration and prosperity.

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