"This issue of the SADC Barometer examines the obstacles preventing the region from utilising effectively the infrastructure it has and building what it needs. The main article in this issue warns that SADC lacks a comprehensive plan for filling the potholes and putting the trains back on track.Other articles consider the importance of discussing trade facilitation within the WTO; the lessons that other SADC member states can learn from Zambia's rail privatisation experience; the advantages and limitations associated with the privatisation of ports in SADC; the importance of information and communication technology to regional development; and water as a strategic resource. While the focus is on transport infrastructure, two articles in this edition acknowledge the importance of financial and social infrastructure to development. We also report on the SADC summit in Dar es Salaam in August 2003, and assess Tanzania's ability to lead SADC from the front."