TIR has been recognised as key to revitalising the Trans-Sahara trade corridor – a flagship project to improve the 9,500 kilometer road network from Algiers to Nigeria via Tunisia, Mali, Niger and Chad – which is intended to stimulate very weak trade between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa.
With sponsors including the Islamic Development Bank, the Trans-Sahara Highway project promises to unlock trade potential by improving infrastructure and easing border formalities.
IRU’s Habib Turki, project coordinator for Middle East and Africa, said: “A project like the Trans-Sahara Highway needs harmonised mechanisms to allow goods and companies to be able to move from Lagos to Algiers. The establishment of the TIR transit system, which is based on a UN convention, would ensure that sealed containers and secure vehicles can cross borders without the delays that currently impact security, safety and cost.” He added, “Without harmonised transit, the Trans-Saharan road will have limited potential.”
Presenting at the Algiers Meeting – a trans-continental economic forum hosted by Algeria – IRU joined governments, 2,000 companies, institutions and media to debate how to realise Africa’s full economic potential and how to implement the recommendations of the African Union for the intensification and stimulation of intra-African trade.
The event, ‘for entrepreneurs, businessmen and African operators wishing to be part of the revitalisation of the African economy and ultimately the rebirth of the continent’ included a dedicated session on the Trans-Saharan corridor, a strategic corridor for inter-regional trade and a major instrument for connectivity between North, West and Central Africa.