A delegation of international rail maintenance and rehabilitation professionals, together with an “unbeatable” line-up of thought leaders in Africa’s transport sector will be in Durban, South Africa, in October to address challenges faced by the rail fraternity in Africa.
“Some of the challenges that will be addressed will be ways to overcome an aged and under maintained rail ecosystem,” says event organiser Hypenica.
Poor or even nonexistent rail maintenance and rehabilitation in Africa is often a result of a lack of revenue that is supposed to be derived from current rail infrastructure, the organiser explains, with the high cost and difficulty to transport goods and commodities from point A to point B the result of an underinvestment in rail infrastructure, making it “a vicious circle to be broken.”
Despite these challenges, Hypenica notes that maintenance and rehabilitation remains a core focus in the ongoing industrialisation of Africa and that there is a clear indication of the tangible commitment to this “lucrative” sector.
Since 2015, 60% of all investment in African rail has being directed at maintenance and rehabilitation projects and these projects will form the basis of an “inter-regional” drive towards development involving collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“It is against this background that Transport Week presents the African Rail Evolution Forum, co-located with the sixth annual African Ports Evolution Forum and KZN Export Week, from October 17 to 18 in Durban,”
African Evolution Forum programme director Nico Loretz explains.
He adds that the forum celebrates Transport Month and unites the largest network of African port and rail authorities, port and rail operators and developers, engineering, procurement and construction consultants, financiers and consultants, government and regulators, as well as representatives from the private sector.
The forum’s joint keynote plenary session, which will be chaired by author and African business specialist, Victor Kgomoeswana, will look at ways to “enhance regional connectivity and intermodal value chain opportunities to drive social and economic development in Africa”.
South African Transport Minister Joseph Maswanganyi will deliver the Ministerial address in this session, the organiser concludes.