Thursday, May 30, 2024

Zambia is missing out on reduced transportation costs-Chileshe Kapwepwe

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COMESA Secretary General Ms Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe.
COMESA Secretary General Ms Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has challenged the public and private sector in Zambia to resolve their differences which are currently hindering the country’s efforts to join the Regional Transit Guarantee Scheme (RCTG).

COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe noted that the RTGS commonly known as the RCTG CARNET is an important trade facilitation instrument with potential to reduce total transport costs within the region by up to 20 percent.

Ms Kapwepwe however, said Zambia was missing out on reduced transportation costs and other benefits due to unresolved issues between the public and private sector, particularly the clearing and forwarding agents and sureties.

“as a result, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Malawi are on hold until Zambia joins as it is strategically positioned within the region. Thus, Zambia needs to join for these other countries to join as well,” she said.

Ms Kapwepwe said this in a speech read for her by COMESA Assistant General – Programs Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget at the official opening of the 32nd COMESA Council of Bureaux (Yellow Card Meeting) at Avani Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone today.

The Yellow Card scheme is the COMESA Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance Program.

Ms Kapwepwe further said the Yellow Card Scheme had in the last four years made significant contributions to the national bureaux in the region going by the increase in the annual premium income from 7 million United States Dollars to over US$10 million United States Dollars .

“The number of cards issued annually to cross border motorists has also increased from 150, 000 in 2014 to over 200,000 in 2018 and six National Bureaux of member states are generating an annual premium income of between US$1 million to US$2.5 million, a rare achievement in international card systems,” she said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma said the Yellow Card Scheme was widely accepted by Zambian motorists and greatly contributed to the facilitation of cross border movement of vehicles, goods and people within the region.

Mr. Yaluma commended the Zambia State Insurance Company (ZSIC) for managing the scheme effectively and ensuring unnecessary delays at border posts were eliminated.

He observed that the importance of the scheme to intra-regional transit traffic and its impact on intra-regional trade and tourism was indicated by its wide use, considering it was being implemented in 13 member states with the help of over 180 insurance companies.

Mr. Yaluma however, cautioned insurance companies to improve the manner in which they handle claims for their clients as reimbursement of claims had been identified as one of the major challenges.

He urged the companies to revise the existing practices and replace them with an efficient claims management system to sustain the viability of the Yellow Card Scheme which was dependent on the confidence of insured parties.

The Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister reiterated the importance of trade and transport facilitation as an important tool of economic development particularly for developing and landlocked countries like Zambia.

Mr. Yaluma bemoaned the share of Africa’s exports in total world exports which currently stood at two percent.

Earlier, ZSIC Managing Director Charles Nakhoze said countries within the region had confidence in Zambia as a competent trade hub.

The 32nd COMESA Council of Bureaux (Yellow Card Scheme) Meeting taking place from October 2, 2018 to October 4, 2018 in Livingstone has attracted representatives from 16 countries including Zambia, Kenya, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda and Malawi among others.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Good woman! Please work out the modalities to help! All the best! We need intelligent people like her to help and contribute to Zambia’s progress not those who want to destroy the development we are seeing all over Zambia! Never give them any chance Zambia, please!

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