Rail Figure of the Week

For the week just ending ,the rail influencer is the royal majesty,King Muhammed of Morroco for his tireless efforts to advance railways development on the African continent.The unexpected thing is that a leader for life is more innovative and persistent in infrastructural pursuit than elected presidents across the continent.

First was his modernisation of the Morrocan railway system with massive refurbishment of railways stations,tracks,wagons,coaches and rolling stocks.Then came his completion and deployment of the first high speed rail in Africa.That line is presently functioning.

The King then lend royal support to the revival of Trans-Maghreb high speed rail line connecting Morroco to Algeria ,then Tunisia down to Egypt.Due to political bickering between Morocco and Algeria ,the project has been stalled for years.But again the olive branch is coming from the Morrocan leader.Algeria is however yet to yield.

The last significant innovative agenda,the one that earns the King bigger accolades than we can give is the idea of a rail link between Morroco and Spain.An Africa – Europe high speed rail connection is the baby of King Muhammed ,not that of African Union.

The idea is long overdue.That African Union and NEPAD did not include it in their plans is also shocking .Now that the royal father has signed a memorandum of understanding on the project with King Fellipo of Spain,it is time the AU and NEPAD show serious interest.A rail link from Spain to Europe to the Trans-Maghreb high speed line down to the Cairo to Cape integrated high speed rail will exponentially transform Africa.

With all these mega-projects,Africa will be creating her own Belt and Road Initiatives and China would be eager to key into the entire project. Again King Mohammed is an originator of an idea whose impact will be a game changer for the whole of Africa.

But the King should not rest yet.A Lagos to Mediterranean high speed rail line should be added to the loop.Africa must be opened up as we move towards continental free trade zone.

King of Morroco is our railway influencer of the week.

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