he East African Business Council (EABC) intends to undertake an assessment of COVID-19 pandemic on transport and logistics in the East African Community in order to spell out post recovery recommendations for the sector.
The EABC is concerned with the disruptions in the global transport and logistics and the rising cost of transport that have tremendously led to the increased cost of doing business, the agency said when it invited consultancy bids to carry out the assignment last week, which closes door on 18thSeptember.
The study will be carried out with the support of Trademark East Africa (TMEA).
Disruptions in the transport and logistics industry have significantly affected the movement of people and goods. The global aviation industry worldwide is sagging under the weight of the current coronavirus pandemic, and Africa is no exception.
“With strong links to China, both for tourism and trade, African airlines are somewhat more exposed to the current disruption than anywhere else. According to the International Air Travel Association (IATA), Africa has lost approximately 0.4% of its Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK), with the effect being felt within the most affected nations,” EABC said.
The consultant will be required to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the transport and logistics sector – Air, Road, Rail and Maritime in light of the Covid-19 pandemic taking into consideration the effect on other support services such as clearing and forwarding and warehousing facilities.
The consultant will also identify the level of effectiveness – both qualitative and quantitative- to the sector players while moving cargo across the EAC land borders amidst COVID-19 Pandemic, analyse Partner States’ response to COVID-19 through different stimulus packages and other measures taken in the 2020/2021 Budgets.
He will also develop post COVID-19 recovery recommendations for stakeholders in the transport and logistics sector and identify policy pronouncements related to containment measures that are hindering the efficient flow of cargo across borders and propose recommendations to address such bottlenecks
By the end of February, 2020, it was approximated by the IATA that African Airlines would register a loss of approximately $29bn with potential revenue losses of about $113bn worldwide due to COVID-19. Overall, intercontinental flights are still the bread and butter of Africa’s aviation industry, making up 51% of their business.
On average, the revenue of airlines in Africa derives 5% from Chinese flights and another 7% from flights to the Asia-Pacific region. As such, airlines are highly exposed to both the cancellation of these routes and the drop in demand.
In light of the above, the transport and logistics sector, which is driven by facilitating cargo movement to or from different geographical locations, supports key economic sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, aid and relief, construction, education amongst others has significantly been affected by the pandemic. Interventions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 have created some hurdles in the movement of cargo, service suppliers and people across EAC borders.
One of the key priorities of the East African Community (EAC) is in the improvement of regional transport for goods, and the movement of service suppliers and citizens. Progress is most visible in cooperation to reduce non-tariff barriers (NTBs) on the Northern and Central Corridors, the construction of Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) and port efficiency improvements.