‘Seamless cross-border rail freight network critical’

UN economist Dr Vera Songwe was one of the keynote speakers at the Africa Rail Expo. Source: Tubular Track

The creation of a seamless cross-border rail freight network was identified as a crucial focus for Africa’s railway sector at the Africa Rail Conference currently under way at Sandton Convention Centre.

CEO of Botswana Railways, Leonard Makwinja, told delegates it was imperative to figure it out so that bulk goods could be moved faster and more effectively between SADEC countries.

Ghana Railways Development Authority CEO Richard Dombo said a vastly improved hinterland network was part of Ghana’s future plans to become a hub transit country for bulk cargo from its port of Tema to surrounding markets.

Prior to the conference, PwC director of Logistics and Transport, Andrew Shaw, pointed to a recent study that revealed how Ghana was progressively driving development on all fronts, including infrastructure and innovation.

Unfortunately capital expenditure (capex) exercises come with their own set of challenges which is why, said Dombo, we are “approaching it in phases.

“It’s the only way to ensure that intensive capex projects are realised.”

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