Transport Ministers from 15 West African countries are attending a conference in Abidjan to discuss the setting up of a joint transport system.
GV EXT Conference venue
SV INT Minister Diomande arrives in hall and takes seat (2 shots)
SV PAN Delegates seated.
SV Libere speaking
SV Pan Delegates listen and applaud (2 shots)
SV Lardner speaking PAN TO officials
SV Audience listening and applauding (2 shots)
Initials BB/1805 FC/JB/BB/1815
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Transport Ministers from 15 West African countries are attending a conference in Abidjan to discuss the setting up of a joint transport system.
They are hoping to reach agreement on the development of joint land, air, and possibly sea, transport facilities to improve the inter-state movement of goods and raw materials as well as trade with non-African countries.
The need was outlined by a delegates for the Economic Commission of Africa, Mr. Godfrey Lardner, who said efficient transport services were necessary in linking -- and improving -- African economics.
Mr. Lardner stressed the importance of sub-regional transport networks for moving agricultural and industrial raw materials and semifinished products, such as bulk chemicals and petrochemicals.
He added that the costs of such long-distance transport have been expensive and are increasing because of poor organisation and out-of-date technology at points of trans-shipment.
He also pointed out that African countries tended to rely solely on other intercontinental shipping and civil aviation companies. And they have, more often than not, become victims of monopolies, and consequently, rising coats.
The conference, which was opened on Monday (2 June) by the Ivory Coast's Minister of State, Loua Diomande, ends on Saturday.