Railways AfricaTM

Issue: 2 - 2018

So September is going to be a busy month!

The first Ethiopia Railway Summit will be held during the month of September, with a focus on railway transportation infrastructure development, operation and financing. This high-level event will provide a unique platform for international railway technology companies, investors and financial institutions to engage with Ethiopian decision-makers on short-term and long-term cooperation possibilities. First-hand information on Ethiopia’s railway transportation and investment policies, priority projects, procurement opportunities, new public-private partnership framework and other potential project partnerships, will be made available at the summit.

The South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) – will be hosting their Technical Workshop, during September, in Johannesburg. The theme, “Embracing The 4th Industrial Revolution In Heavy Haul Railways – Paving The Way.” This technical workshop serves as a build-up to the next International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Conference that will be held in June 2019, Narvik, Norway.

Then, InnoTrans, which is considered the world’s leading trade fair for transport technology and takes place every two years in Berlin. At the last event - 2,955 exhibitors from 60 countries presented the global rail industry’s innovations to 137,391 trade visitors from 119 countries. The five segments at InnoTrans are Railway Technology, Railway Infrastructure, Public Transport, Interiors and Tunnel Construction. InnoTrans is organised by Messe Berlin and this year will be held from 18-21 September, Berlin.

Looking locally at the relatively fresh news, it would appear that the Isaka-Kigali SGR, will not be making its construction debut this year, by all accounts, it appears that the respective ministries are still looking for funding. Therefore it might come as a welcome relief that Moody's has affirmed Rwanda's “B2 rating, maintains stable” outlook, this should assist in their funding quest.  In an interesting move, Ethiopia is looking to partially and or fully privatise a number of government-owned entities including various railway projects further announcement are expected in the next few weeks, let’s hope by September in time for their rail summit!

ILCAD, which is the International Level Crossing Awareness Day took place on the 7th of June. Whilst being a global initiative, each year a partner country of ILCAD hosts the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). The Croatian railway infrastructure manager (HZ Infrastruktura), together with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences in Zagreb and the International Union of Railways (UIC), hosted the 2018 ILCAD event. The theme for this year was, “don’t beat the train”. I hope to see this event taking place in South Africa sometime soon!