State wants to promote use of railways to decongest roads – minister

GOVERNMENT intends to push rail transport bulky and heavy goods in order to decongest the roads, according to Minister of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba. Speaking during the United Nations Global Sustainable transport conference in Turkmenistan, Mr Mushimba stated that Zambia needs to build a resilient and modern transport system to ensure sustainable networks in line with the 2030 development goals. “In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need to build resilient and modern systems to ensure, among others, the provision of sustainable transport networks for all with improved road safety features,” said Mr Mushimba. The minister said that Government had enhanced road safety education and that it would install technological devices to help control reckless behaviour on the roads. He pointed out that Government had improved road safety features in a bid to reduce the number of fatal road accidents in the country. Mr Mushimba ─ who is also chairperson for the Global Bureau of Landlocked Developing Countries which constitutes 32 member countries ─ disclosed that the greenfield railway spurs were high on the agenda to link Zambia to the eastern and western ports of Africa. Also speaking at the conference, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon called on all UN member countries to work towards achieving sustainable development goals whose aspirations were to improve the lives of people across the world. Representatives from the transport sector in Zambia including the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Road Transport and Safety Agency, Zambia Railways, National Road Fund Agency, Civil Aviation Authority, and Tanzania – Zambia Railway Authority.