The UIC Africa Region together with the UIC Covid-19 Task Force Group organised a web-conference on 7 May focused on Covid-19 and African rail networks.
Attended by over 100 participants from over 20 countries, the seminar was an opportunity to share experience between European, Asian and African railway representatives. The welcome and introductory messages were delivered by the Chairman of the UIC African Region, Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, who talked about the effect of coronavirus on transport in Africa and the emergency plan put in place in Morocco and by François Davenne, UIC Director General, who presented the work of the UIC Covid-19 Taskforce which allows its members to exchange best practice and the measures put in place for the deconfinement period. Concluding the opening session, Mr Marc Guigon, Leader of the UIC Covid-19 Taskforce, presented the work of the group.
The conference consisted of two panels: Asian/European and African, each followed by a Q&A session, moderated by Thierry Béra, UIC African Region Coordinator.
Panel 1 focusing on the Asian part of the conference included two presentations by JR East and a presentation by Korail, who went through test and quarantine measures as well as sanitising examples put in place in the trains, railway stations and places of work. Panel 1 focusing on the European part highlighted the work achieved by SNCF and TRAINOSE who talked about freight transport as vital to restarting economic activity, the evolution of Covid-19 and the State resumption plan. Alberto Mazzola, FS, who presented on behalf of the Chairman of UIC, talked about the FS recovery plan.
Panel 2 provided an overview of nine countries including ONCF, SNTF, SNCFT, CamRail, Bourkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Djibouti, who talked at length about the emergency plans put in place, human resources management, post Covid-19 steps and financial measures.
The conference was concluded by Mr Khlie, President of the UIC African Region, who thanked the participants for their interest, making this first web-conference a real success.