Roads and Rail Summit: Cross Border Operations Key to Regional Business Operations
The 7th East and Central Africa Roads and Rail Infrastructure Summit, held in Tanzania at the end of September, was attended by more than 40 key stakeholders in the rail sector from across the West and Central African regions. Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC), who are in the process of constructing a national standard gauge railway (SGR) network across the country, where among notable participants.
Reporting on their participation at the summit, KRC stated that: “The will to establish seamless operations across the borders of East African countries in order to facilitate the movement of passengers and goods is strong.
“The summit was convened to promote engagement on transport strategies in the contemporary times. With a majority of the regional countries engaging in rail construction initiatives, the summit provided a platform for the participants to deliberate on the future of rail and road development. Discussions focused on electrification, regulatory structures and funding options for planned projects.”
Kenya was recognised by the Summit for the successful commissioning of the Mombasa to Malaba SGR project along the region’s Northern Corridor. In addition, delegates lauded the Kenyan government for the highly efficient project planning strategy that has gone into revitalising the country’s railway infrastructure, notably the effective integration of the country’s existing Cape gauge railway infrastructure into the strategy.
Solomon Ouna, the standard gauge railway technical advisor to KRC, indicated in his presentation that the region requires substantive investments in many areas in order to achieve the goals that have been set out regarding railway infrastructure development in the region. He informed participants that with operations on the SGR set to commence next year, Kenya has put in place the requisite interventions to ensure the line’s performance will be at its peak.
The summit offered insight into a number of projects under discussion in the region, including the Standard Gauge Project; Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza-Musongati (DIKKM) Project; the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project; and the Central Corridor Tanzania.
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