November 20, 2012: Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Johannesburg – South Africa
The African railroads are in the process of major overhaul to keep up with the continued economic growth in the continent. Rail networks are currently disconnected and many of them need huge investments for dilapidated infrastructure development. Typical railways in Africa are small and run on old technology which are not standard gauge lines and suffer due to political unrest and instability.
Addressing the current issues and future plans, the African Railway Summit commences today at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel at Johannesburg, South Africa. This summit is supported by Transnet Freight Rail. Siyabonga Gama, Chief Executive at Transnet Freight Rail extended his support by delivering the inaugural speech. Followed by the key note speaker, Damas Daniel Ndumbaro, Deputy Managing Director at TAZARA, who shared his views on the future of railway in Africa. His presentation was suceeded by Henry Dest Longchamps, Senior Transport Specialist of The World Bank – AFTTR Unit . He addressed the audience on railways project in the Sub Saharan Africa. He shared his knowledge on how the World Bank and the SSATP has joined forces in recent months to analyze the performance of the railways and concessions.
Helmut Adelsberger, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, chaired the summit. He has been a detached national expert from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) to the European Commission DG MOVE, since October 2009. As one of the international speakers at the summit he also contributed to the summit by presenting the TEN-T Policy Review, its political and legal background.
During the first half of the summit, Dr. Christian Schlosser, German Federal Ministry of Transport and Urban Development, Policy Specialist, Electric Mobility and Investments for Sustainable Transport spoke on what the European public transport and rail experience contribute to enhance urban mobility in African cities. Peter Copley, Transport Specialist from Development Bank of SA, discussed the current and likely future roles of rail in meeting Sub- Saharan Africa’s transport and logistic needs.
Attendees had the opportunity to be a part of the panel discussion on “South Africa’s Role of Railways in reducing the cost of doing business. In the afternoon, case study on Gautrain Rail by William Dachs, Senior Executive Manager from Gautrain Rapid Rail Link will help the delegates understand how implementation of the a multi-faceted project was completed in 54 months. The day ends with panel discussion on commuter/passenger rail-network.
Tomorrow, day two of the summit, participants will hear from Nkululeko Poya, Chief Executive Officer at Railway Safety Regulators South Africa; Jason Nagy, Africa Business Development Manager at United States Trade and Development Agency and Dr. Sion Haworth, Policy Advisor, Ministry of Works and Transport Uganda on the regulatory challenges following Railway Reform, USTDA‘s role in supporting railway development in Africa and others followed by panel discussion on Issues Affecting Rail New Technology Applications, Rail Africa the 2030 Vision
Exhibitors at The African Railway Summit include Railway Safety Regulator (RSR), Imfuyo, AMILCO – BENIN SARL and Columbus Stainles. The summit is also supported by Pan African Chamber of Commerce, Transport Forum and Railroad Association of South Africa.
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