The UIC Africa Region programme on 5 December included the Africa Seminar and the 15th African Regional Assembly both presided by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General in the absence of the Chairman of the UIC African Region Mr Khlie in the presence of Mr Thierry Béra, UIC CFO & African Region Coordinator.
The seminar focused on presentations by CETMO and NEPAD, with whom UIC is signing an MoU in 2018.
CETMO, Centre for Transportation Studies for the Western Mediterranean, was presented by Mr Oscar Oliver, DG. It encompasses the countries of the Mediterranean region and was created in 1985. The axes of work include multiple areas of common interests, exchange of knowledge and information between northern and southern countries, as well as exchange of practice, financing sustainability, public transport, computer, logistics, road safety and maritime transport, with the road safety being crucial in Africa. Special attention is given to trans-modal corridors, the most developed one being from Mauritania to Libya. Such corridors include five modes of transport: railways, road, ports, airports and logistical multimodal transport, which underline the importance of developing multimodal transport and its efficient network.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed the opportunity presented to UIC to work with a body such as CETMO and the interests it brings to the world of railway collaboration.
NEPAD - the New Partnership for Africa’s Development is the development agency of the African Union. The Agency covers all of Africa and has focal points in all parts of the continent. Mr Napo, the representative of NEPAD, explained the structure of NEPAD noting the five founding countries Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Senegal. One of the axes of work is 2063 agenda and its 12 major projects to help the Africa continent to develop. One of the priority projects is the African high-speed line and development of the high-speed rail network. He also presented the plan of work.
The 15th UIC Africa Regional Assembly took place in the afternoon. Attended by a number of railways of the region, it focused on the main projects and on 2018/2019 activities. The year included Seminars in Algeria on Train Renovation, in Djibouti on Safety and Security, in Togo and in Morocco and two training sessions in Rabat in May on Safety and Security and on Rail Track Maintenance in November. Special attention was given to launch the new high-speed line in Morocco. The African Region registered new members in 2018. The subjects of discussion included the revitalisation of the African Union of Railways as well as activities of the UIC region in 2019 – the first Africa Rail Digital Summit scheduled to be held from 25 – 27 February in Cape Town, South Africa, a Crisis Management exercise in Gabon, the ILCAD day and revitalisation of Rail2040.
The Assembly was concluded by a signature of an MoU between UIC and CETMO.