UNTIMELY disbursement of funds is said to be hampering the process of conducting frequent roads maintenance, hence jeopardizing transport systems on the continent.
An expert in Infrastructure Planning and Road Asset Management Donath Mrawira said here at the weekend that most of the African countries were missing out on enjoying internal cohesion, economic growth and social advance as a result of turning a blind eye in funding the maintenance of its road network.
Professor Mrawira, who was speaking at a regional seminar and course on road asset management for senior executives and decision makers, decried minimal disbursement from most African governments, rendering the roads impassable.
“Timely distribution of such funds will cushion the maintenance of our roads and eventually stabilize road financing, improving works programming efficiency, and encouraging a resurgence of the domestic contracting industry,” observed Prof Mrawira.
The expert, equally reserved praise for the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) and the Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (Tarura) for striving to improve the standard of roads in the country, despite minimal funding from the government.
He challenged participants of the regional seminars to use the deliberations churned out of the forum to improve policies that will ensure road systems are well maintained and managed for economic growth.
Likewise, the Arusha Regional Commissioner John Mongella challenged the come up with solutions or recommendations that will enable “our ministries and agencies responsible for road to improve their performance and ensure the road asset that has been provided using our meager resources is well taken care of and contributes towards our social economic development of our countries.”
According to Mr Mongella, recent research has demonstrated that road agencies need to be proactive rather than reactive in managing the road assets.
“With a robust planning system in place, both new roads and rehabilitation work can be planned and implemented to ensure maximum value for money for the entire portfolio of assets,” he said.
Organized by the Tanzania Roads Association (TARA), which is also a National Committee of the World Road Association (PIARC) for Tanzania, the seminar brought together delegates from seven countries across Africa namely; Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Cameroon, Republic of Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and host Tanzania.