Director of Infrastructure and Services at Sadc Secretariat, Remmy Makumbe briefing the press in Lilongwe on Tuesday said there are more activities happening now than before.
He said the feasibility study that stands in the way before implementation of the project would take up to 18 months to the end of 2014 before countries involved, partners and private sector discuss the infrastructure needs, investment levels and implementation plan.
He said Sadc partnered with the Common Market for East and Central Africa (Comesa) for the feasibility study as Comesa, which provided US$3.5 million took the responsibility of preparatory activities for the study while Sadc will coordinate the implementation.
Makumbe said activities of the project are much better now following the signing of the Memorundum of Understanding (MOU) among the countries involved.
The project was conceptualised by the late Bingu wa Munthalika with the intention to reduce transportation cost as barges would be docking at Nsanje port whose quay was already constructed by Mota Engil, as a private investor, to handle about 10 000 containers annually.
But Makumbe said the feasibility study remains the determinant of the viability of the project, costs and the infrastructure needs for the facility.
Among others issues that he highlighted at the press briefing included the digital migration within the region, one border post for cross-border trade, customs and procedure, fibre cable installation, single visa for Sadc region for tourists, among others as some of the projects being undertaken by the regional body. – Reported by Kingsley Jassi