General Manager of National Highway Authority, Gaafar Hassan Adam (GH), talks to us about the NHA’s role as the authority of Sudan as a transportation hub
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LE: Can you speak about the importance of your organisation in ensuring that Sudan becomes a transportation hub?
GH: National Highway Authority (NHA) is a government agency under the Ministry of Transportation, Roads and Bridges. We are the country’s authority in the field of roads and bridges. We help the government in the decision-making processes in order to build a sustainable transportation hub in the longer term. We have a privileged position in Africa, surrounded by seven countries. And that puts us in the strategic centre of the road network, connecting it with many remote points. We also build a lot of corridors that connect us with our neighbours and make sure that any central activities can travel through smoothly and have sufficient access across our territory to enrich regional and global trade.
The importance of the National Highway Authority is its main responsibility as the authority of Sudan as a transportation hub. And that will be accomplished by preparing the country plan prioritising roads and bridges, preparing feasibility studies, maps, technical specification design, and all related actions. We supervise the contractors who carry out the construction of roads and bridges and the rehabilitation projects in the country, providing feasibility advice and counsel to all Sudan state agencies in the roads and bridges industry.
National Highway Authority manages the contracts of roads and bridges on behalf of the Federal Government with the contractors and consultants who are working on or supervising the road networks in accordance with the principles and conditions laid down in the contracts, with the aim of converting Sudan into a transportation hub.
LE: How important is it that Public Private Partnership can raise new financing and apply new technologies for NHA?
GH: Financing is vital for our project systems as we need it to achieve the goal of constructing and rehabilitating a sustainable roads and bridges system, so Public Private Partnership (PPP) is at the core of our interest as an equity relationship based on benefits for both parties. And we give PPP priority as our integration unit with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. We are also interested in constructing and rehabilitating our roads and bridges with PPP funding, or with any type of loan that investors can offer us.
PPPs can bring new technologies for NHA, and through Leading Edge we encourage any investors to submit their profile as we are interested in opening a bid to build a high technology training and research centre for NHA as well as building an electronic toll collection (ETC) system for our all road checkpoints.
LE: What is your final message to international investors about investing in Sudan and partnering with NHA?
GH: We offer collateral to guarantee repayment plus the profits as a secured loan. We deal with a large variety of financing techniques that PPPs can use to apply and submit their investment interest, and there are techniques like IPOS IP Financing Scheme to access loan facilities by using granted patents as collateral and bank loans.