The 10th Regional Assembly for UIC Africa was held on 10 December in Paris in the presence of the region’s main networks, i.e. ONCF, represented by its Chief Executive Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Chairman of the UIC African Region; SNCFT, represented by Mr Moktar Essadok, representing the UIC office in Tunis, as well the networks of SETRAG (Gabon), SOPAFER-B (Burkina Faso), ISEP (Senegal) and Guinea-Conakry.
Following an opening speech by the Chairman of the region and the UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux who thanked the delegations for their attendance and participation, the coordinator of the UIC African Region Mr Jerzy Wisniewski and Mr Said Chandid, ONCF expert, took stock of the work conducted within the region in 2013 and presented an action plan for 2014 in line with the region’s budget.
2014 will commence with the conclusion of the 50th anniversary of Moroccan Railways by recalling its history and vision for the future. The pamphlet entitled “Revitalisation of railways in Africa: towards 2040” will be officially presented on this occasion.
A training session on the safety of railway systems will take place over a two-week period at the ONCF training centre in Rabat with the collaboration of UIC technical experts in spring 2014 and another training session on track maintenance will be held in the autumn. All members of the African Region are invited to take part.
A seminar on the interconnections and challenges of railway interoperability will be held in Algiers at the invitation of SNTF in September 2014.
Mr Chandid particularly highlighted the near completion of the study on “Revitalisation of railways in Africa: towards 2040” which will be presented during the 3rd Conference of African Ministers in charge of Transport, to be held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2014.
Mr Birahim Fall, representing ISEP (Institut Supérieur d’Enseignement Professionnel de Thiès – Thies Higher Institute of Vocational Education – Senegal) also presented the institute to the members at the meeting by stressing the importance in establishing a training school such as this one in Africa. Based on labour market needs, the institute will run a two-year training programme for high-level technicians on the upkeep of railway rolling stock and management of railway lines.