i. On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, I welcome distinguished Honourable Ministers, our amiable Permanent Secretary, and the general participants to this 2″ Edition of International Railway Conference here in Abuja. As the chairman of the LOC, the title of my speech is: “The Place of Railway in African Business Connectivity”.
- __ Africa is undergoing a silent railway revolution. Across the continent, several
green and brown field rail projects are ongoing. The development also coincides with the making of the African Continental Free Trade Area. There is therefore the need for a permanent platform through which stakeholders on African Railway can gather and brainstorm on best practices and effective regional collaboration.
- This conference is about sharing experiences on the rail sector of African
Economy. It is also a forum for forging trans-national railway projects. This will fall in line with the desire of African leaders for a more inter-connected transportation network across African nations. As it is today, Africa is the least connected region. Developing railway as a means of connectivity is thus vital to the successful implementation of AfCFTA.
- This conference also proffers a window to complement the efforts of the New
Partnership for African Development Agency. Through NEPAD-AUDA, the African Union has developed a plan for an African Continental High Speed Rail Projects. The project is meant to connect the sixteen (16) landlocked African countries to the Coastal Capitals of the continent. A forum like this sheds lights on efforts of the continental body to set the tone for rail connectivity across the region.
- Aside NEPAD-AUDA, our gathering also plans to focus on railway master plans of regional economic blocs. There is the Trans-Sahel Railway Projects, the East African Railway plan, the Maghreb Railway project, the Southern Africa Railway Master Plan among others. We will share experiences across board.
- We also have as part of the packages best practices from external and internal contributors. We have presentations on railway reform model for Africa, drawing investment into African railway sector and a review of decarburization possibilities for African railways.
- Nigeria as the host has a lot to showcase. You will soon hear from the Chairman of this occasion and the Honourable Minister of Transportation for
- Above all, we want to sustain the tempo by making early preparation for the 2023 Edition.
- 9 Therefore, I welcome you all to this conference and exhibition.
Engr. J. A. Yusuf, The Chairman, Local Organizing Committee.