The Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents Association (EFFSAA) called on the government to scale-up its support to galvanize the logistic industry.
“Although the government has demonstrated its commitment to the logistic sector, the ever-increasing logistics demand and the pace of Ethiopia’s economic growth dearly need significant improvements,” said Sileshi Kasie, Executive board member of the association.
Ethiopia ranks 126th on world logistics standard and the existing logistic platform is considered as backward and imperfect.
“The cost of logistics in Ethiopia is estimated around 30 percent of the commodity transported,” said Sileshi, calling on the government to implement the planned 10 year transport sector plan.
“In spite of the existing smooth relations with concerned government figures, especially in invitations to partake and confer with policies and directives related to the sector, authorities should give significant attention to shift the present backward system into state of the art logistic technologies.”
According to Sileshi, key issues which the logistic sector demands are instant availability of supply of credit, facilitation of banking and other documentations, which are the very essentials of the logistic sector for fast moving of commodities.
The calls for government support came at an event held on Friday, convened to announce Ethiopia’s membership of the World Logistic Passport (WLP) along with five other African countries.
According to vice President of WLP, Dawit Wubishet, Ethiopia will get 130 types of benefits from joining the WLP, benefits including easier east-west access to trade routes and cost reduction reaching upto 40 percent.
Furthermore the vice president underscored the importance of WLP membership for strategic alliance, networking and technology transfer, acquiring competitive rates and facilitating rapid delivery.
Countries that are part of the WLP network are classified in one of two categories: Gateways and Hubs. Gateway nations are top regional contributors to freight trade and have preferential access to the nearest Hub country. There are, at present, two Hub countries in Africa – Senegal and South Africa.
In addition to Ethiopia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Guinea have registered as Gateway countries joining WLP, with countries looking to build back global trade volumes.
EFFSAA has over 80 member agents.