Africa needs railways for rapid development — Russian railway giant

Transmashholding, TMH, Russia’s leading manufacturer of railway rolling stock, says Africa is in dire need of modern railway infrastructure to propel the continent to rapid development.

The Chief Executive Officer of TMH, Mr Kiril Lipa, told newsmen in Moscow Russia, that absence of railway infrastructure in some major cities in Africa was a setback to the transportation sector on the continent.

While expressing the company’s willingness to expand the international footprint in the region, Lipa emphasised the need for African countries to invest more in railways.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that TMH is a leading manufacturer of passenger trains, locomotives, metro cars, trams, coaches, wagons, snow clearing equipment and engines for locomotives.

The company, which supplies railway operators in more than 30 countries, offers comprehensive maintenance and repair of rolling stock, manufacture of parts and components for the rail industry, among others.

According to Lipa, Africa has great potential for the rail industry since most of its produce are bulky such as minerals, oil and gas.

“In this regard, TMH is geared towards the needs of most African economies whose main focus is the export market with access to sea ports via rail and pipelines.

“Imports also come through the sea ports and are couriered to their final destinations by train.

“The African population is growing very fast and the cities are developing at a tremendous pace. For us we are looking into transporting minerals, oil and gas.

“There is therefore a need for cargo trains. We can also leverage on our technology to develop the rail infrastructure of most African countries.

“We are capable of providing this technology,” he said.

The Transmashholding boss further said that Africa is strategic not only to Russia but to the main financial and industrial institutions across the world.

He, however, said that basic trends must be met to actualise the dream.

“There are certain trends which are very basic and what we see in Africa are basic for the common world.

“We understand that the population is growing very fast, the cities are developing and the development of resources is quite intensive.

“And these resources are developed far in terms of distance from the seaports.

“So, these trends make the market very attractive in terms of rolling stock, specifically because the most effective way to transport mineral resources to the seaport is the railway excluding pipelines,’’ Lipa said.

He said that having the spread and the railway network would enable easy transportation of resources on the continent.

“There is a huge need for the development of Africa. The continent needs all kinds of rolling stock.

“That is why I believe that the continent will be developed; there is a huge need in the railway system network for all kinds of rolling stock for the population.

“And my belief is that Russia is quite capable of providing some critical components in terms of technology,’’ Lipa said.



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