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Zambia joins SADC countries in preparing for Road Fund Indaba

Zambia, through the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) was among the six southern African countries that recently met in Blantyre Malawi to prepare for the 21st African Road Maintenance Funds Association (ARMA) Annual General meeting to be held in May 2024 in Abidjan Ivory Coast.
Eight countries in the region including Zambia have put together their experiences on the Impact of Climate Change and Legal Framework of Sustainability of Road Funds to be presented to the 34 African Road Funds with a view of sharing information and tapping on non-traditional revenue for road maintenance.
The NRFA, used Zambia as one of the case studies with an enhanced legal framework giving latitude to the Agency to finance road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance while most Road Funds financed road maintenance activities only.
The Zambia system is what is being referred to as a Third-Generation Road Fund and most African countries are aspiring to reach this level of a wholistic and prudent financial management for road infrastructure development in their respective countries.
The Malawi meeting was officially opened by that country’s Secretary to the Treasury Professor Betchani Tchereni who urged regional Road Funds to diversify their revenue streams as governments strived to share the already limited resources with other competing needs.
He said most of the Road Funds in the region were not efficient because of limitations in the collection of road user charges which was contrary to the African Union Agenda 2063 of enabling free movement and connectivity and enhancing economic gains of countries in the region.
ARMFA, is a legal, non-political, non-profit making association whose objective is to develop a network for the exchange of experiences and information on the best practices of financing road maintenance in Africa among the 34 member countries.
The prestigious continental body has a decentralised governance structure and is divided into four Focal Groups drawn from African regions namely Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa each of which meet regularly to share regional experiences, success and challenges in the fiduciary management of road sector finances.