African Road Maintenance Funds Association(ARMFA) was established in 2003 in Libreville, Gabon. It is a continental body with a membership of 34 African countries. The objective of the ARMFA association is to develop a network for the exchange of information and experiences on the practices of financing road maintenance in Africa and the operation of the funds themselves; to encourage the promotion and strengthening of ties between road maintenance funds in Africa; to ensure the sustainability and the harmonious development of road maintenance funds. ARMFA has also been instrumental in encouraging and supporting African Road Funds as they seek to optimally collect revenue for roads development and maintenance within their countries through collection of road user charges which include; fuel levy, vehicle licence fees, road transit fees, overload and abnormal fees as well as road tolling fees.Continue Reading
ARMFA brings together 34 member countries of the African Road Fund Management Organisations, Engineer Juma was unanimously elected at the association’s 14th annual congress held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo late last month taking over from Ghana’s Mr. Francis Ahlidza. He said his appointment not only puts Zimbabwe on the world map in terms of Road Fund Management but also confirms the quality of human resources in the country.
This appointment means ZINARA and subsequently Zimbabwe as a country is leading the management and smooth running of Road Funds in the roads industry in Africa. This shows how much faith the continent has in Zimbabwe’s capabilities. The objective of the ARMFA association is to develop a network for the exchange of information and experiences on the practices of financing road maintenance in Africa and the operation of the funds themselves; to encourage the promotion and strengthening of ties between road maintenance funds in Africa; to ensure the sustainability and the harmonious development of road maintenance funds.
Established in 2003, ARMFA has been instrumental in encouraging and supporting African Road Funds as they seek to optimally collect revenue for roads development and maintenance within their countries through what are called 2nd generation funds (fuel levy, licence fees, tolling fees. etc). The association also aims to facilitate cooperation between African countries by way of developing national and sub-regional road networks that facilitate the integration and union of African people. ARMFA is divided into four focal groups namely Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa and Sothern Africa where Zimbabwe (through ZINARA) belongs to. Before rising to the post of Executive Auditor for the Association, Engineer Juma was Chairperson of the Southern African Focal Group since his appointment as Acting CEO for ZINARA in July 2014. He was also part of the Executive Committee for the association. The jovial ZINARA boss also noted that his new appointment also comes at a time when the country is driving towards achieving goals set by the ZIMASSET economic blueprint where roads are key.
Zimbabwe, through ZINARA successfully hosted the 13th ARMFA Annual General Assembly and Annual General Meeting in Victoria Falls in February 2015 on short notice. This was after the earmarked host country (Ghana) failed to take up the responsibility due to various reasons. This gave the country an opportunity to showcase its state-of-the-art tollgates that are run 100% on solar power where Zimbabwe was a first to have such sophisticated technology, especially at a time when the world is crying foul over global warming and where world leaders are calling for use of renewable energies which do not pollute the atmosphere through greenhouse gas emissions. The many African countries were thrilled with this experience which caused many of them to want to come back to Zimbabwe to learn from ZINARA, how the country has managed to successfully adopt road tolling and the models used. To date, Zambia and Malawi have already sent delegations to Zimbabwe to learn on these initiatives. Many other countries are also planning to visit Zimbabwe to learn further on these experiences.
Engineer Juma's Achievements at ARMFA
1. Became ARMFA Southern African Focal Group Chairperson (ASAFG) (2013-2015)
2. Zimbabwe eventually took over the Chairmanship of the Technical Committee for ASAFG as a result.
3. Developed first ever technical magazine for the focal group also adopted by the entire AMRFA grouping.
4. Played major role in preparation and processing of documentation for AMRFA registration and affiliation to the African Union, which is a process still underway (September 2015)
5. Unanimously voted and elected AMRFA (Top 4 Positions) – Auditor Role - Overseer of all ARMFA processes (technical, finance, administrative) (25 November 2016)
ZINARA attended the first part of the ARMFA Southern Africa Focal Group (ASAFG) Meeting held at Eucalyptus Hotel, Ampfey, Madagascar from the 26th to 27th of April. 2017. The second part of the meeting will be held in Mozambique, in July 2017. The meeting was meant to discuss the various issues among them:
• ASAFG current theme for Road Funds
• Selection of new ASAFG Chairperson
• Prepare for the ARMFA Executive Meeting to be held in Cameroon from the 4th to the 6th of May 2017.
The meeting was well attended with a 100% representation from Chief Executive Officers of Road Funds from all member countries namely; Zambia, Malawi, Comoros, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. A new member of ASAFG, Mauritius also made a maiden appearance at the meeting.
The theme of the recently held focal group meeting as proposed by Madagascar which held the ASAFG body’s Acting Chair position, was “The ideal legal framework for an efficient Road Fund Administration”. Several papers were presented by member countries. As part of the welcome to Malawi, the opening remarks of the meeting was done by Madagascar Road Fund Director General, Mr. Randimby who warmly welcomed members and stressed the importance of knowledge sharing among member states. He also praised the 100% attendance by member states to the meeting.
Selection of New ASAFG Chairperson
A voting process was conducted and this saw Madagascar and Namibia being unanimously voted into Chairmanship and Deputy Chairmanship of ASAFG respectively.
Issues discussed included:
• Setup and governance structures of various road funds
• Legal frameworks enacted in member countries to create and empower road fund
• Functions, powers and limitations of the road funds
• Ideal operating environment for coordination of roles between Road Authorities and Road Funds that result in optimum road maintenance in African Countries
Knowledge Sharing Visits
Members visited a site 52km from the Eucalyptus hotel on 27 April 2017. This was showcasing the road development projects and the role of the Road Fund in Madagascar especially in a city called Ampefy where there is construction of a new Scientific University in that region.
• Zambia has a Roads Development Authority (RDA), an entity different from the National Road Fund Administration (NRFA is the equivalent of ZINARA). This entity is responsible for implementation of all road-related projects in the country, sets and ensures contractors adhere to set technical standards. Zimbabwe can adopt the same especially with the current challenges we have with Urban Councils where we feel that they should only focus on infrastructure issues other than roads.
• There is a committee of Ministers (Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport), committee of Chairpersons (RDA Board, NRFA Board, Traffic Safety Board) and committee of Permanent Secretaries (RDA Board, NRFA Board, Traffic Safety Board) specifically designed to discuss Road Maintenance and Development initiatives.
• All the ASAFG member countries are looking at the way to use PPPs to fund road-related projects
• ZINARA has advanced in terms of being able to access loans for road infrastructure. ASAFG members were also interested in terms of how they can also achieve the same considering the dwindling government funding in most African countries.
• Most ASAFG member countries have developed National Road Master Plans and are religiously following them. Zimbabwe, through our Ministry of Transport and ZINARA can also drive this process especially now that we recently completed our national road condition survey project.
• In most countries, procurement of services and the management of road contract tenders is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of the Road Fund in consultation with the Minister of Transport.