President Peter Mutharika launches the National Transport Master Plan 2017 – 2037 at Bingu International Convention Centre on Thursday (C) Stanley Makuti[/caption]President Professor Peter Mutharika on Thursday launched a revolutionary infrastructure development with a National Transport Master Plan (NTMP) aimed at guiding the development of the transport sector in roads, ships and airports to be implemented from 2017 – 2037.
Mutharika said a robust transport network is key to the development of Malawi and said his government will make improvements in all modes of transport in order to bring in efficiencies that will translate into reduced transport costs.
The masterplan which was developed with funding from the World Bank provides a framework for delivering sustainable interventions on multi-mode transport network across Malawi.
“I want this country to have an organized transport system. That is why in 2016 I commissioned the formation of the Malawi National Transport Master Plan.
“The master plan will ensure coordination of the infrastructure projects which we have started implementing in the country,” said Mutharika.
Also, it details how Malawi will develop all areas of road network, civil aviation, railway and water transport and the infrastructures needed.
Mutharika said if Malawi is to evolve into a middle income economy, there is need to put proper systems in place.
Some of the infrastructures proposed are construction of airports in Mangochi and Mzuzu, construction and improving existing ports, construction of an expressway between Limbe and Blantyre.
Also, it requests the introduction of mass transportation to reduce congestion, extension of the railway network to Tanzania and modernized airports for big foreign airlines to be landing.
“I want to modernize our cities by introducing a new system of transportation because our goal is to reduce congestion.
“With this master plan, we will see more dual carriage highways, more flyovers, continuation of constructing by-pass roads and construction of modern state-of- the- art roads.
“The railway lines connecting to the ports will also reduce the costs of transportation on goods, thereby making goods cheaper,” said Mutharika.
World Bank country manager Greg Toulmin speaking earlier said the NTMP marks a milestone in the transport sector of Malawi.
He said a successful transport sector is an introductory element for the foundation of a sound economy.
Toulmin said one challenge Malawi faces is that costs of transportation are among the highest in the region but said it was pleasing to note that the NTMP provides plans to tackle just that.