Interview: Ibrahima Koné
How has ICT integration benefitted the transport sector in Côte d’Ivoire?
IBRAHIMA KONE: In terms of pricing, the implementation of an integrated management system has enabled us to substantially reduce the price of permits and documentation by as much as 75%. Before the introduction of such measures, and in addition to registering in a transport registry, road carriers were required to renew their transport licences every year at a cost of CFA150,000 (€225). Today licences must be renewed every two years and cost CFA35,000 (€52.50), providing significant breathing room for operators. Likewise, the costs associated with the renewal of drivers licences – including editing and medical fees – have dropped from CFA23,000 (€34.50) to CFA13,500 (€20.25). The optimisation of procedures has reduced the number of intermediaries in the production chain of documents, thus making the entire process more efficient.
The formalisation of an integrated information system will allow us to have a better grasp of the drivers themselves, and thus, achieve a professionalisation of the field. This will begin by defining the conditions under which to access the transport profession, and through the use of an automatic management system should ensure a strict respect of these conditions. It will also accompanied by other elements such as the renewal of the vehicle fleet, the development of a multi-modal transport network and other structural projects.
It entails the categorisation of permits, including one for leisure and business and another for professionals such as taxi drivers or road carriers. By integrating these registries we will also allow professional drivers to be registered at the National Social Welfare Fund, where they will have access to a pension.
To what extent is this system compatible with other administrations?
KONE: Quipux Afrique and the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) we have already implemented several integration efforts, such as with the Ivorian Vehicles Technical Inspection Company. This initiative allows the latter to have information on vehicle registration cards, while providing us access to data on technical inspections. However, the system is also able to be integrated with other entities, such as insurance companies and security devices like radars.
Indeed, I believe that the MoT is a step ahead in these matters, since its platform has been rolled out across the country’s regional capitals. Nevertheless, the government’s policy on digitalisation is gaining traction throughout the economy and will continue to propagate to other entities.
Where do you see the transport sector heading in the medium to long term?
KONE: In the face of mounting pressure and new technology, the digitisation of procedures is inevitable. By 2050, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities, a trend even more pronounced in Africa. Therefore, it is no longer possible to efficiently manage our administration without ICT solutions.
Given the demographic pressures facing Côte d’ Ivoire, we will increasingly face challenges with road circulation and its economic impact, as well as security, as road transportation accounts for 800 to 900 deaths a year in Côte d’Ivoire. This leads to the necessity to rapidly implement an intelligent mobility management system. Moreover, all of the technologies applied in order to control speed and alcohol levels on the road, together with those aimed at improving the training of new drivers or improving the regulatory environment, are significant elements.
In 2015 the Orientation Law on inland transport was adopted by the government, providing guidelines on policies related to road, rail and lagoon transportation operations. The newly enacted law plans for the creation of a regulatory authority, which we believe will have to operate through the use of ICT solutions.
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