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Submitted by G.Raballand on
I am not sure if the economist story is really relevant and delivers the right message since very few compliant transporters in Cameroon (not overloaded with the right documentation), would have gone to Bertoua through Melong and not going to Yaounde first. Indeed, if you have a 60-tonne truck (overloaded then), you could try this route and indeed in this case, you will have to pay bribes all the way because the police knows you are not compliant ... And there is also another issue. It is probably true that transit time en route for exports is longer than delays in ports but that does not necessarily means that port processes are not really important. For a company to start import/export operations (the bulk of world trade, except in SSA), there is a need to have import/transit processes quick and reliable and the port is where most time is spent. If transit processes are cumbersome and lengthy (the initiation of transit takes more than 50% of import transport time in most SSA countries), exports are not going to grow (except the ones without strong imports components) and, therefore, the emphasis on en route transport time becomes less relevant. In order to develop non-traditional exports, revising transit regimes and simplifying clearance processes (to start in ports) is key because for the time being it is where transport time/reliability is the highest.