Supported by the Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF), the International Union of Railways (UIC) African Region has been organising training courses for African railway managers since 2013. The training focuses on two areas highlighted as being of particular importance: railway safety and track maintenance, stemming from the “Revitalisation of Rail in Africa: Destination 2040” strategy adopted on the basis of a participatory initiative to support African railway networks in the upgrading and development process by means of concrete actions.
Following the twelfth cycle of training, it is clear that the courses are continuously gaining in popularity and renown as a unique gathering of railway experts and managers in Africa. This is evidenced by the number of applications received, which exceeds the enrolment targets set each year.
At the recent Regional Assembly, a decision was made to carry out an ex-post evaluation of the training in order to:
- Review and report on all stages and implementation of training;
- Draw lessons and conclusions from successful experience;
- Identify areas of improvement for the various plans in order to give a new impetus to the training and to mark a turning point in order to provide better support for the reforms and development currently of primary concern to the African rail sector.
Decision-makers, trainers, participants and organisers will be the key stakeholders called upon to gain a better understanding of the various facets of these training courses within the context of the evaluation.
On 1 August 2019, a meeting was held with some thirty Moroccan trainers and railway experts, who have delivered the training since 2013.
Taking an original approach, and on the basis of a rich and productive discussion, the workshop enabled the development of an overall view – as accurate as possible – of the various training courses and allowed trainers to explore and identify potential focus areas for the evaluation with a view to implementing a strategic shift with regard to training and as part of the stated ambition for Africa within the context of Agenda 2063.
The process will continue with the remaining stakeholders with the aim of presenting the conclusions from the evaluation to the steering committee and having them validated in September 2019 before sharing them with all of the stakeholders and participants involved.