According to Will Kenton, a renowned communications and marketing professional, economic integration aims to reduce costs for both consumers and producers and to increase trade between the countries involved in the agreement.
Basing on Kenton’s point of view on integration, the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) which was initially formed to advance the cause of national political liberation in Southern Africa and to reduce dependence particularly on the then apartheid era South Africa was transformed to SADC purposely to address various economic issues and excel integration among member states.
The Heads of State approved SADC Treaty to give the room for the establishment of Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) as the successor to the Southern African Coordinating Conference (SADCC).
The objective of the SADC as per its treaty was to achieve development and economic growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration.
“These objectives are to be achieved through increased regional integration, built on democratic principles, and equitable and sustainable development,” says the SADC website.
In translating this into reality, SADC supports increasingly free trade as part of its agenda to eradicate poverty in Southern Africa. As part of its long-term goals for regional integration, SADC established a Free Trade Area in 2008.
Within this area, member states removed tariffs on trade with one another, but were free to levy their own external tariffs on imports from non-member nations.
By January 2008, 12 member states had signed free trade agreements, reducing tariffs on 85 percent of intra-regional imports.
SADC continues to work for the effective implementation of the Free Trade Area and provides support to improve the capacity of member states to engage in trade negotiations and implement trade agreements.
The main objectives of SADC are to achieve economic development, peace and security, and growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration.
These objectives are to be achieved through increased regional integration, built on democratic principles, and equitable and sustainable development.
The regional block is striving for stronger integration needs including an efficient transport system to facilitate trade and socioeconomic ties.
SADC understands the existing network of roads, railways, ports, and airways currently meets the demand of most users but more are to be done as far as industries and economies develop throughout the region, “use of the transport network will exceed its current capacity.”
According to data available on SADC website, it is expected that, by 2030, traffic for landlocked SADC countries will increase to 50 million tonnes, ramping to 148 million tonnes by 2040. This is equivalent to an 8.2 percent annual growth rate.
The ongoing Dar es Salaam Port expansion project is viewed by the block as an important move which will address future port traffic.
The available data indicates that port traffic will expand from 92 million tonnes to 500 million tonnes by 2027.
“The transport situation is similar throughout the rest of Southern Africa. With a vision of a transportation sector that supports vibrant industrial and social development, SADC has already prepared plans to address the increased pressure on the region’s transport infrastructure,” according to SADC website.
The strategically placed Dar es Salaam port is the Tanzania principal port with a rated capacity of 4.1 million dwt dry cargo and six million dwt bulk liquid.
The authority’s website describes that the facility has “a total quay length of about 2,600 metres with eleven deep-water berths, attributes that empower the Dar es Salaam port to handle about 95 percent of the Tanzania international trade”.
The port serves the landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
It is strategically placed to serve as a convenient freight linkage not only to and from East and Central Africa countries but also to the Middle and Far East, Europe, Australia and America.
The features of the Dar es Salaam Port that make the facility to be convenient to both local and foreign clients are general cargo Berth (1-7) from break bulk, PORO and dry bulk and Container Terminal Berths (Berth 8-11).
The port is also divided into Grain Terminal facility (silos with storage capacity of 30,000 tons), Inland Container Deposits (ICDs) facilities with the capacity of (14,500 TEUs) and CFs with the capacity of holding 6,000 vehicles at once).
Other areas are a 150,000 MT Single Point Mooring (SPM) which is designed for handling refined and crude oil.
Kurasini oil Jetty (KOJ) for handling refined products (tanker size 45,000MT for KOJ1 and 5,000 tonnes for KOJ2). – Daily News (Tanzania)