Smart Corridors in Africa



NTU provided technical assistance to the African Union Commission Department for Infrastructure and Energy (AUC-DIE) within the EDF-funded project “Support to the African Union Commission Department of Infrastructure and Energy in transport policy harmonization and transport sector services development & Support to PIDA PAP for the start-up of smart corridor activities”, as part of the larger intervention, “Support to the Transport Sector Development Programme”. The project had  a budget of €2.3 million. The project's overall objective was to contribute to the achievement of inclusive political, economic, and social development through enhanced regional integration of ACP countries, with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, and providing support for achieving a selection of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals).

The specific objective of the programme was to contribute to strengthened Africa wide capacity to regulate, organize, promote and finance improved inter regional and continental transport infrastructure and services through interconnectivity across regions by promoting Safe trans-boundary transport corridors and Harmonised transport policies.

The work of NTU focused, among others, on facilitating the implementation of PIDA-PAP (Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa - Priority Action Plan) projects.

Summary of expected benefits due to the implementation of CPIS at the Port of Dar es Salaam (extract from the final report)

How we did it

NTU supported PIDA PAP with the launch of smart corridor activities. The first step was to select two pilot projects. Consequently, NTU undertook the following actions:

  1. Smart Corridor Definition and Characteristics
  2. Multi-factor criteria for selecting the pilot smart corridors.

A corridor assessment was undertaken based on these actions, and a ranking with the top ten potential corridors was presented to the Validation Committee, which endorsed the recommendation to select the North-South Corridor (NSC) and Dar es Salaam Corridors (DC) as pilot projects.

NTU's team undertook a desk research and two field visits to both corridors. The purpose was to obtain information to carry out a gap analysis between the current status and the planned activities concerning the following:

  1. Corridor Coordination and Management
  2. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)/Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  3. WTO Trade Facilitation Measures
  4. Regional Economic Communities Trade Facilitation Measures
  5. Infrastructure Provision and Maintenance

The field visits were critical for obtaining information necessary for the project team to undertake the following activities for the design and costing of the two corridors:

  • Gap Analysis of the existing corridors versus what should be done for the corridors to convert them into Pilot Smart Corridors;
  • Identification of activities that must be undertaken to close the gaps;
  • Costing of the activities required to convert the NSC and DC into Pilot Smart Corridors;
  • Draft Report for the PSCs Stakeholder Workshop to agree on the activities, options and approach;
  • Preparation of TORs for facilitating and coordinating the implementation of the activities;
  • Development of a report on the Design and Costing of NSC and DC PSCs.

As a result, a number of activities for closing the gaps have been defined and costed for inclusion in the future implementation Pilot Smart Corridor programme.


The activities undertaken by NTU allowed to provide valuable information on how to improve the quality of transport infrastructure (port, road, border crossing and rail) in the NSC and DC, these ones being converted into into Pilot Smart Corridors. When executed, these measures will improve the corridors' efficiency, reduce the cost of transport and foster trade.   

In addition, the Report on the Design and Costing of NSC and DC Pilot Smart Corridors brought clarity to the next steps towards improving the regional integration in Africa and capture the most urgent areas of action.

Reasonably Firm Weighbridge Network for the Dar es Salaam Corridor