“UIC Africa” participated to the Railways & Harbour conference and exhibition which took place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 4 to 6 March. Mr Stanley Mkoko, UIC Africa representative, was the first presenter to open the conference. He presented the ’African Railways Vision 2025’, which was welcomed by the delegates. Many suppliers and other companies acknowledge the work that UIC is doing especial on the railways.
The challenges lie more on how to execute the job at stake, for example the issue of connectivity that impact the marketing and linking of rail / road. The trading from each country can not be done or possible if proper infrastructure is not in place.
Funding is one of the key problems that UIC together with the other organisation, needs to fixed is the funding on the developing countries. In a nutshell the focus needs to address infrastructure, connectivity for both rail/road, investment on new rolling-stock and technology. The following points needs to be address as well.
Transport Investment planning is not developed or emphasised enough, thereby not allowing reliable knowledge to be made of the magnitude of national funds that would be dedicated for the transport sector in the future.
Coordination between various sources of funding (national, regional & international) is not fully optimised, and available budgets are not always targeted towards priority projects.
Mr Mkoko explained in a nutshell how every one can play the role in solving the problems and implement the “UIC vision 2025 for Africa” which will have a positive impact for all stakeholders.
The railway production in Africa over the last years has shown volatile output for several countries. For many countries the market share has declined, their assets have steadily deteriorated, their quality of service has reduced, and they are in many instances only a minor contributor to solving the transport challenges in Africa. These important transport links are struggling to meet growing demand, keep up with technological change, facing competition from other modes and competing for finance with other important public priorities. Africa have several competitive challenges like political and economical instability, growing population, trade barriers, poverty, natural disasters, lack of infrastructure investments and integration, trade imbalance, monopolies and lack of management procedures.