Saturday, October 11, 2008

Southern Africa: Study for Single Regional Shipping Line Almost Complete

The push for an indigenous shipping service within the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) is on its way to fruition.

This follows feasibility studies done by the Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS), a regional body that monitors maritime transport practices.

ISCOS director of shipping and liaison John Mwanza, in an interview, said the establishment of a single regional shipping line would also make the industry more competitive.

"The aim is to provide indigenous competitive service and not necessarily to reduce costs," he said.

The study which is nearing completion, will allow other stakeholders to be brought on board to achieve the objectives, Mr Mwanza said.

However, he added that even at the current feasibility stage, the study was receiving the backing of other member states of Comesa, who are not members of ISCOS.

"Iscos member states are very committed to having a regional shipping line, " said Mr Mwanza.