At the invitation of the African Union Commission, UIC, represented by Thierry Bera, Chief Finance Officer and Africa Region Coordinator, and Francis Bédel, Chief Digital Officer, attended the second session of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET).
The development of rail on the African Continent was highlighted by the Member States, represented by the mandated Ministers of the 55 African Union Members.
A resolution was adopted by the Ministers encompassing all these decisions.
A meeting with Mr Cheikh Bedda, Director of Infrastructure, African Union, was held alongside the Conference.
During this meeting, Mr Bedda stressed the importance of the involvement of UIC in African rail development.
Based on the outputs of the 1st UIC Africa Digital Rail Summit held in Cape Town in February, Mr Bedda confirmed the course of action of the Summit.
In particular he mentioned the need to deploy joint efforts to define the main conditions to ensure rail connectivity and interoperability in Africa.
Among other issues, the African Union Commission confirmed its intention to cooperate with UIC on education and training programmes and sessions dedicated to African rail companies.
An action programme will be jointly developed based on this approach.
NEPAD is one of UIC’s key partners in Africa.
Following the summit in Cape Town and the meeting with Mr Mayaki (CEO NEPAD), the UIC Delegation had the opportunity to meet and hold discussions with Mr Adama Deen (NEPAD), in Cairo.
NEPAD outlined the importance to establish the conditions to ensure interoperability on African railways.
This is a prerequisite to the implementation of the 2063 High-Speed Vision for Africa.
NEPAD confirmed its willingness to develop strong cooperation links with UIC.
An action plan with short-term actions will be developed in the near future.
This conference was the opportunity to meet Mr Fraj Ali, CEO SNCFT and Chairman of the African Union of Railways (AUR). The need and the desire to revitalise the AUR were clearly stated. UIC and the AUR will coordinate their efforts in order to achieve this goal.
This High level Conference served as an occasion to confirm and consolidate the relationships between UIC and African institutions and organisations giving the priority to rapid, pragmatic and short-term initiatives.