Dar Es Salaam – 9 July 2013
East Africa’s transport industry launched a critical project on Tuesday to identify bottlenecks blocking smooth trade on the key Central Corridor linking landlocked African states to the lifeline port of Dar es Salaam.

“This marks a critical new phase in upgrading a key route for East African Trade by identifying, and mapping all unnecessary barriers to free flowing trade to create a platform that policy makers can use to overturn these obstacles,” the Executive-secretary of the Central Corridor Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTFA), Rukia Shamte, said at the launch ceremony.

The Transport Observatory Project (TOB) was designed by the CCTFA, which groups state and private transport actors, to streamline the route along which a quarter of East Africa’s total trade passes at a time when the region’s economy is surging and the need for smooth trade becomes more important.

It is backed by TradeMark Africa (TMA), a multi-donor funded trade facilitation agency with the collaboration of key stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

The Observatory continuously monitors the performance along the Central Corridor by identifying total time delays from all possible causes as a means towards establishing an evidence-based regional platform that can be used by the CCTTFA as an operational tool as well as by the region’s policy makers.

The delays will be analysed using indicators of cause, location, date, time of day as well as 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 as well as through a quarterly report to be published on collected data from stakeholders.

“TradeMark Africa (TMA) is proud to be associated with this project. All evidence shows that where trade flourishes, prosperity does too and this is a key step to streamlining the Central Corridor on which so many businesses and lives depend,” said Deputy CEO Scott Allen.

Information from this process will be disseminated to partner states through various government agencies, private sector and civil society organisations as well as the media, to inform decision making, problem solving and policy formulation on the Central Corridor’s performance.

The CCTTFA seeks to reinforce these efforts through data collection by road surveys and GPS (electronic data collection). TradeMark Africa (TMA) has delivered 50 GPS kits to the CCTTFA so that data can be collected from trucks and transport companies to assist in developing the 25 indicators so far identified.

These indicators include monitoring time wastage along the trade routes caused by 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 Central Corridor.

This data will provide informed and evidence-based opportunities for the development and implementation of policies to resolve these delays for cost effective operations. Continuous monitoring of the data will enable the region to gauge whether the measures put in place have improved the corridor performance or if further enhancements are required.

Ultimately, the Observatory is expected to improve the Region’s business environment by reducing transit delays. This should lower the costs of transport and doing business and will lead to the improvement of livelihoods in the EAC region and for the Central Corridor Member States.

The Dar Corridor Secretariat is also undertaking a similar initiative with the support of the sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Programme (SSATP) of the World Bank.

Source: TradeMark Africa (TMA)


TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.