FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Nov 19, 2014
-- The World Bank is adjusting its approach to rail projects by giving a tighter focus on business oriented developments, economic medium term sustainability of projects and strengthening of rail regulatory framework. Henry Longchamps, Senior Transport Specialist at World Bank illustrated further on World Bank involvement in the railways sector in Sub-Saharan Africa at the 3rd Annual African Railway Summit that commenced on 18th November 2014 at Hotel Radisson Blu Gautrain, Johannesburg.
Chairing the summit Gorman Zimba, CEO at Railroad Association of South Africa delivered the opening remarks on first day of the summit. Siyabonga Gama from Transnet Freight Rail delivered the key note address on sustainable rail infrastructure development and strategies. Adeseyi Sijuade from the Nigerian Railways Corporation and Nino Cingolani from Egyptian National Railways provided the attendees insights into recent developments and strategies overhauling respective country’s rail infrastructure.
Andrew Marsay, Transport Economist illustrated on the threats to South Africa‘s mega rail investment programme from resistance to change in operational / service delivery structures. Addressing railroad capacity as a national transportation issue Zimba explained freight movement and analysis of how to determine the implementation of the region’s road-to-rail migration. First day of the summit allowed participants to get their queries answered during the panel discussions on role of railways in reducing the cost of doing business and prioritising rail in the African region.
Nicolas J. Firzli, Cofounder & Director-General of World Pensions Council presented on fostering foreign institutional investment in African rail assets and why pension capital matters. First day of the summit concluded with a networking session between the attendees, speakers and exhibitors. Participating exhibitors at the summit were EET SA group, Salcef Group, 4Tel, IGW, Kernex Microsystems (India) Ltd, ALL Railway Management, WaveTrain Systems AS, Pintsch Tiefenbach, Corys T.E.S.S., Optical Fibre Trends, Integra Consultancy Services Ltd and Bahntechnik South Africa Pty Ltd.
Second day of the summit, Piet Sebola, Group Executive: Strategic Asset Development from PRASA presented a case study on PRASA rolling stock fleet renewal program which is one of the biggest railway procurement processes in the world and how to revitalise the rail industry through the programme. With Tanzania and Uganda agreeing to a proposal for joint commercial rail track that runs from Tanga-Arusha-Musoma- Kampala, Alfred Obong from Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda cited the rail line to link Tanga port and Arusha (Tanzania) with Kampala (Uganda) via Musoma port at the Lake Victoria.
As financing rolling stock within Africa using traditional financial solutions continues to be a challenge, Kudzanayi Bangure representing the NEPAD Business Foundation suggested that the need for alternative and innovative funding solutions for Africa is thus imperative. Post luncheon Nkululeko Poya from Railway Safety Regulators South Africa will expand on how railways can attract passengers from other modes helping reduce overall carbon footprint of the transport sector. He will further focus on achieving modal shift in the long-term, and it's importance to plan public transport connections.
Concluding panel discussion for the summit will be centered on models for expanding urban rail systems and intermodal connections. The panel will be led by Johny Smith from Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Peter Copley representing South African Road Federation, Alfred Obong of Ministry of Works and Transport - Uganda, Sibulele Dyodo from South African Local Government and Nicolas J. Firzli, World Pensions Council.