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Mesquita Maintains that African Road Funds Need to Reflect on How to Use Available Resources

Mesquita Maintains that African Road Funds Need to Reflect on How to Use Available Resources

The Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita, invites to this reflection to respond to the need to guarantee the preservation of the existing heritage, as well as the recent rise in fuel prices.

The position was made Tuesday in Maputo at the opening of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Association of African Road Maintenance Funds, which is being held today and tomorrow in Bilene, Gaza province.

Mesquita explained that, to mitigate the impact of the rise in fuel prices, the governments had decided to reduce fees, which is one of the main sources of funding for road maintenance.

The governor pointed out that the African Road Funds are called to promote a deep reflection on how to guide the scarce resources available.

On the occasion, Mesquita said that the user-payer principle is gaining more and more importance in the financing of road maintenance, in a context of the introduction of vehicles with lower fuel consumption and electric vehicles.

“Tolls can prevent the collapse of traditional road and bridge maintenance funding systems that are based on fuel taxes. There is therefore a need to develop and strengthen the social awareness that allows the materialisation of the user-pays principle, which is a solution for the sustainability of investments in the road sector and generates economic and social benefits for our countries,” he stressed.

However, Mesquita also noted that, with the challenges mentioned above, there is a need for African Road Funds to strengthen their systems for monitoring and evaluating projects, as a way of ensuring rational application of the resources provided.

However, Mesquita stresses that thought should be given to Public-Private Partnerships and the participation of transport infrastructure users in their conservation.

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“We believe, on the other hand, that there is a need for Road Funds to promote the participation of road users in the maintenance of Roads. A debate on the participation of users in the maintenance of Roads should be comprehensive in each of our countries, aiming at the adoption of good practices, which can contribute to the formulation of policies and strategies that result in greater responsibility of users in the maintenance of transport infrastructures.”

Mesquita says the implementation of the Infrastructure Development Plan in Africa for the period 2012-2040, approved by the African Union, requires sound and coordinated strategic planning, as well as a mobilisation of all sources of funding, both public and private, giving primacy to regional integration that will enable the integrated development of the continent through the improvement of transitability conditions, increased competitiveness, economic efficiency, acceleration of economic growth, facilitation of global economic integration, improvement of the quality of life of the population and promotion of trade and investments.

“Along with rural roads to boost agriculture and trade, the government has been prioritising the main Development Corridors, so that neighbouring countries can have access to the ports that Mozambique has,” he said.

Carta de Moçambique

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