Incorporation Facilitation in Infrastructure Projects

Courtesy SA Global Competitiveness Hub

National governments, regional economic communities and development lenders increasingly recognise that improved logistics and facilitation are a major factor in trade competitiveness and economic growth. Many infrastructure projects now include related facilitation investment.

An example is the Kazungula Bridge project currently being prepared by the African Development Bank which connects Zambia and Botswana over the Zambezi River. In addition to the engineering design work, the feasibility study incorporates a study of the overall corridor performance to identify facilitation measures that should be undertaken as part of the project to ensure that the corridor enables the objectives for the bridge construction to be achieved. The project also includes harmonisation of border documents and establishment of a one stop border post and overload control facility. This entails both design of specialised facilities and of a process to standardise and simplify procedures.

The project will initiate a bilateral corridor committee mandated to ensure that the facilitation measures are taken. The second preparation component is a financial assessment of the PPP arrangement for bridge construction and other project components. The two countries are funding this assessment themselves with involvement from all public and private sector stakeholders affected by the project. In addition to defining the BOT framework for the bridge, the assessment is evaluating the potential for anchor projects to be promoted and use of the BOT fee structure to fund the corridor committee and facilitation activities on the corridor. The BOT framework is also anticipated to include bridge maintenance. The governments involved have been very pro-active in the development of the project and are very supportive of the facilitation aspects. They have formed and funded a bilateral, interagency team of government experts to lead the project development and execution.

For infrastructure projects, development bank loans often incorporate one stop border posts as a project component or require participating governments to establish a corridor management committee to identify problems and implement facilitation measures needed to guarantee the performance of the route once constructed and of the transport operators using it. Facilitation measures can be funded by a grant which accompanies the infrastructure loan or be a condition of the loan.