FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Nov 4, 2013
-- The rail sector in Africa has seen its traffic declining over the years due to poor management, inability to provide reliable services to users, and severe competition from the trucking sector. Replacement of rolling stocks is one of the major concerns in the region.
To address the current challenges in the transport sector and explore the best practices from leading transport organizations in Africa and internationally, the 2nd Annual African Railway Summit commences today at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg. The summit is supported by Transnet Freight Rail, Railroad Association of South Africa and Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Chaired by Dr. Christian Schlosser from German Federal Ministry of Transport and Urban Development, the first day key note was delivered by Lanfranc Situma, Deputy Director General of Transport representing the Ministry of Transport, South Africa. Lanfranc presentation on 'Sustainable transport for development of Africa' highlighted the NATMAP 2050 and High Speed Rail. Lanfranc during his presentation suggested a few innovative strategies for the development of rail networks.
First half of day one allowed delegates to participate in two panel discussions, one being a special CEO panel discussion on 'Looking at the holistic development of railways across the region'. Cleopatra S. Shiceka from Transnet Freight Rail delivered a special address in the CEO panel which saw panelists from Gautrain, Rwanda Transport Development Agency (Ministry of Infrastructure) and Shosholoza Meyl.
Gautrain is planning to expand its network by extending routes to the South of Johannesburg and the East and West Rand. Gautrain's CEO, Jack Van Der Merwe during his session on 'A look inside what moves South Africa: A Gautrain perspective' assisted attendees in recognizing rail as an crucial factor contributing to the socio-economic development of South Africa.
Focusing on the other ongoing regional projects in Nigeria and Rwanda, the summit will proceed by enlightining delegates on methods for financing railways. Day one of the summit will conclude with a panel discussion on 'Focusing resources on high volume corridors taking the Rail Plan’s Priority Corridors a step further' led by representatives from East African Community, Rwanda Transport Development Agency (Ministry of Infrastructure) and DBSA.
Representatives from Nigerian Railway Corporation, Kwazulu Natal Transport, Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda were seen in attendance. Second day of the summit will comprise of regional case study on PRASA’s signalling and telecoms projects and Maputo Corridor Case Study. A case study on International perspective on passenger railway by Dr. Christian Schlosser will discuss on the converging trends and challenges in the urban transport sector in Africa.
Geographically focussed on Sub-Saharan Africa, the 2nd Annual African Railway Summit will cover a broad field of relevant issues, such as general political framework and market conditions, economic, social and environmental aspects of railways, regional and urban development objectives, freight and passenger transport, mobility and logistics.
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