> North-South Corridor Conference Press
> Outcomes, Conclusions and Way Forward
He said the presence of the four African
presidents at the Aid for Trade Conference “demonstrates political
commitment. It says to the world that you, the Presidents, know that
problems will arise, but that you are ready to step in and act in this
The North-South Corridor Pilot Aid for Trade
Conference was hosted by President Rupiah Banda of Zambia with the
participation of: President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and chair of the Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); President Kgalema Mothlante
of South Africa and chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC);
and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and representing the East African
The North-South Corridor comprises the Dar es
Salaam Corridor, linking the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the
Copperbelt (the copper-mining area of Zambia), and the corridor linking the
Copperbelt to the southern ports in South Africa. The North-South Corridor,
together with its adjacent spurs, services eight countries — Tanzania, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Mozambique and South Africa.
Director-General Lamy made the following comments
during the High-Level Round-Table Discussion:
“This North-South Corridor Conference is a first
occasion after the G20 meeting to show that the commitments made in London
are translating into reality at a time of economic crisis. It demonstrates a
resolve to avoid the temptation of short-term isolationist reflexes, and
instead focus on investing in the future by ensuring that opening trade
remains top of the political agenda.
“The North-South Corridor is a perfect example of
Aid for Trade in action. As an organization, the WTO is about trying to
level the playing field of trade rules. Making trade possible. But making
trade possible is one thing; making it happen is quite another. We know that
for numerous WTO members, making trade happen requires addressing a range of
supply-side constraints. The North-South Corridor is a commendable example
of how to put together all the elements necessary for trade to flow,
creating the conditions necessary for the private sector to diversify from
exporting a narrow range of raw material and add more value.
“Crucial to this effort is the impetus given to
regional integration through the EAC-COMESA-SADC. This is essential for
Africa given the low rate of intra-region trade. This places huge
vulnerability on the continent and means that when crisis hits the major
markets, Africa suffers more than others. Trading more amongst yourselves is
an insurance policy in time of crisis.
“The North-South Corridor is a work in progress.
Difficulties will be encountered as you bump into roadblocks and encounter
bottlenecks on the way. The presence of four Heads of State here has a
meaning. It demonstrates political commitment. It says to the world that
you, the Presidents, know that problems will arise, but that you are ready
to step in and act in this situation. ”
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