The official opening of the 8th Training Session on Railway Security took place on June 22 via web-conference within the framework of the biannual training session, which will take place over a period of two weeks from 22 June – 3 July 2020.
The opening session started with the welcoming words of Mr Mohamed Khlie, President of UIC African Region and ONCF, who underlined that digital transformation is at the heart of economic and social challenges for our future.
It opens up new opportunities for activities in the African region, to strengthen the relationship between our networks through high-performance digital solutions allowing the maximum benefit of managers and employees, optimising in terms of time, logistics and cost, by having a better flexibility. He also announced the commencement of a new concept “African Railway Thursday meetings”.
The encounters will take place every last Thursday of the month, starting from September. During a two-hour on-line meeting, the representatives of the African railway communities will be able to meet with the UIC experts representing different domains.
François Davenne, UIC Director General, welcomed participants to the training session. He emphasised that UIC remained open and active during the pandemic, maintaining all its meetings and platforms, thanks to the organised efforts and work of the staff; and strengthening the role it plays for the UIC members. He noted the importance of the African region in the UIC strategy which will be deployed in the near future. Mr Davenne further mentioned that it would be the first time that the two-week training session organised by ONCF and UIC was taking place via web-conference.
He underlined possibilities presented by using new tools during the pandemic which allowed the participation of larger and more global audiences in meetings, whilst saving on business trips as well as the work of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force, which counts African railways among its members.
Thierry Béra, UIC Chief Financial Officer and African Region Coordinator, presented UIC and Said Chandid, UIC Africa Region Bureau Coordinator, presented the work of the UIC African activities and Africa Railway Focus 2040.
The opening session continued with the presentation of the two-week training programme followed by a web-conference on Safety-Security with presentations delivered by the Head of the ONCF Safety Department, Mr El Kbir Akrim, who presented the ONCF safety politics, and deployment, and Mrs Marie-Helene Bonneau, Head of the UIC Security Division, who talked about the work of the UIC Task Force Covid-19, Railsilience, presenting in conclusion the materials and results of work of the group available on the UIC website https://uic.org/covid-19/.