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Digitalisation major topic at railways expo and conference

GROWING NUMBERS Africa Rail organiser Terrapinn expects 7 000 attendees this year
PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME The conference will cover topics and panel discussion around the inclusion of women in transport
Photo by Duane Daws
RAILWAY ROUND-UP Africa Rail provides railway operators and their partners with access into African railway markets

In line with trends such as the Internet of Things, Big Data analytics, and machine learning, digitalisation will play a major role in this year’s Africa Rail agenda.

The conference will look at the innovative technologies and systems that are transforming the African industry and attendees will be given a first look at techniques and technologies being implemented to build networks of the future.

Event organiser Terrapinn describes Africa Rail as the continent’s “longest running and most successful railways event having grown to become Africa’s most important and best supported railways conference and exhibition”.

Africa Rail is a platform for the continent’s railway industry to come together to learn, to network and to do business. The expo element of Africa Rail presents the largest gathering of solution providers to the continent. The event will take two halls at the Sandton Convention Centre. The organiser is expecting 7 000 attendees and 800 VIP delegates at this year’s event.

The event’s roundtable discussions will centre around project opportunities and project updates. These 40 minute interactive sessions will be led by those in charge at key government departments, railway operators and solution providers and are designed to promote discussion and debate.

With the inclusion of women in all sectors becoming a priority for Africa, the conference will also cover topics and panel discussions around the inclusion of women in transport.

“The transport sector in Africa is male-dominated and this needs to change,” says Terrapin marketing director Bianca Wiener.

Speakers and Sponsors
About 150 speakers will be joining this twenty-first edition of the conference from almost every country across Africa to share project updates and international case studies from world-leading operators. The conference will feature speakers from rail operators, transport ministries and government authorities and world-leading solution providers.

Nigerian Federal Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi, Zimbabwean Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Joram Gumbo, Namibian Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus Naruseb and India Ministry of Railways director of corporate coordination Gaurav Agarwal will be some of the speakers at the event.

Some of the keynote speakers include Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa CEO Argent Chuula, project and engineering management consulting firm SSG Consulting CEO Steven Golding, surveillance, video analytics, and passenger information systems technology and services developer and provider Digital Technology International Group CEO Richard Johnson, Rail Road Association of South Africa CEO Bongani Mankewu, independent corporate finance advisory boutique Pamoja Capital Group CEO Charles Mwaura, Swaziland Railways CEO Stephenson Ngubane, Zambia Railways CEO Christopher Musonda and public–private partnership of transport and logistics stakeholders Walvis Bay Corridor Group CEO Johnny Smith.

Transportation company GE Transportation will serve as the platinum sponsor and will be supplemented by manufacturing group Naledi Inhlanganiso as gold sponsor, while the Railway Safety Regulator of South Africa and global electronics and electrical engineering products, systems and solutions provider Siemens will serve as bronze sponsors.

African railway operators and their partners have been attending Africa Rail for two decades and the event enables them to find solutions to challenges and to form new and lucrative relationships and partnerships. It provides them with access into African railway markets that are traditionally difficult to penetrate.

Africa Rail 2018 will take place from June 12 to 13.