The African Railway Roundtable has described as a critical solution to railway financing in Africa the “Protocol to the Convention on International Interest in Mobile Equipment on matters specific to Rail Rolling Stock”,otherwise called Luxembourg Protocol.
In a statement issued in Monday,the group’s Director of Corporate Services,Tony Oche,the protocol was adjudged as the much sought after answer to the urgent need to expand African rail network without the associated fears of debt overhang.
“We have studied the Protocol extensively and we are convinced of its suitability for the Africam continent.We have discovered that the Protocol is not yet well known within the continent.Most African governments are oblivious of its benefits and its imperative and application for the present stage of development of the continent rail network.
“There are many ways of financing expansion and modernisation of rail network.The Protocol is however a very unique approach.By October ,we will be hosting the maiden edition of our Annual African Railway Roundtable and Expo.The theme for this year is “Financing Railway Network Expansion and Modernisation in Africa:Options and Opportunities “The Protocol is one of the options.
“We will seek the partnership of the South African Railroad Association, the national railways agencies,the ministries of Transportation ,industry suppliers among others including the Luxembourg Protocol office. We think the conference will be used to dissect all issues related to railway financing including the Indian and the Chinese models.Our partners are many and a major one is the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Transportation. Details of the event will soon be posted out.
“The issue facing African railways now is financing.If that is not solved we cannot make any progress as a continent.So we welcome the Protocol and we are committed to advocating for its acceptance and ratification among African nations”,the statement noted.
“The Luxembourg Protocol opens up new capital sources by operating leasing, leading to a larger, more competitive and transparent industry. This will be a game-changer in helping Africa achieve its economic potential.” – Howard Rosen, Chairperson Rail Network Group,had announced at a recent ECA event.
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