Saturday, March 25, 2023

Study delays threaten Air Cargo Hub

Government has played down fears┬áthat the delay in completing the study on the feasibility of linking up the country’s road and railway network to the Air Cargo Hub facility at the Sir Seretse┬á Khama Airport, will negatively affect the set up of the facility.

The explanation given was that the two are separate, though related designs that cannot militate against the proper construction of each of them.

Mabua Mabua, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT), told The Telegraph that the ongoing development of an air cargo facility at the SSKA was due to be completed  by December 2010.

However, the study for determining the feasible layout of the envisaged road and railway network could take up to the next 8 or more months.

“The air cargo facility is designed in such a manner that it does not matter how widespread or massive the roads and rail network will connect,” explained Mabua.

Mabua was speaking on the sidelines of the 16th International Aviation and Allied Business Leadership Conference which was held in Gaborone.

He added that the conference came at the right when Botswana was busy grappling to occupy its rightful place as the epicenter of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) international and regional finance and transport hub.

Impressed by the presence of high profile representatives of big world class manufacturers of planes such as Boeing and Airbus at the conference, Mabua intimated that it was encouraging to hear that the aviation market was set to balloon by about 8 percent in the next five years.

“Getting it from the horse’s mouth about the market projections, and given that events such as this one are usually held in┬ácountries with huge fleets of aircraft like Kenya, Egypt or Ethiopia, South Africa and Nigeria to me is worth a volume of interpretations.”

The fact that already Botswana was  working towards establishing independence in terms of being able to ship direct to and from her trading partners, and simultaneously the study to construct a rail and road network to facilitate immediate distribution of the goods, gives cause to face the future with confidence.

However, given the country’s notoriety in delay to implement otherwise worthwhile projects, it remains to be seen what becomes of the noble ambition laid out by the MWT.

The world Bank has contributed millions of pula towards the realization of the stated project.


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