An Indian railway expert,Mr J.Lakshmnarayan has called on African countries and members of African Railway Union to establish ‘rail technology parks” to manufacture railway infrastructure in the continent.
He also admonished African Union members which have not joined the African Railway Union to do so quickly as such collective body will yield a lot resources for the continent.
The Indian railway enthusiast also called for the introduction of AF-RAIL PASS” in the range of a few hundred dollars to boost tourist patronage of Africa.
He was reacting to the plan by African leaders to revive railways union among others through a plan of action.The relevant ministers of AU are to meet next year on the revival plan.
“ARU (African Railway Union) must develop “RAIL TECHNOLOGY PARKS” in its member countries to manufacture 45 kgs Rails, Sleepers,Wagons, Containers, Coaches & Engines and pull in globally experienced railway engineers by offering attractive golden Incentives.
In what like a call for the indegenisation of railway infrastructure across the continent , Lakshmnarayan contended that the plan should be pursued on a public private partnership basis,pointing out that Africa has the market to make the parks sustainable.
He also posited that African Union leaders must mandate the 20 African Countries which are not members of ARU (African Rail Union) to become members as quickly as possible.
To ease railway funding crisis,he advocated that ARU must launch the “AF-RAIL PASS” costing a few 100 USDs valid in 52 African Rail roads/waterways/tourist centres.
This he said will boost tourism development and enhance inflow foreign exchange.
African leaders had recently adopted an agenda to revive and expand railways on the continent namely:
#African Union of Railways to be Revived
#Vision 2040 on railways in Africa
#Update on Continental High Speed Train
#Action plan for implementation of rail revitalisation in Africa
#Update for AU Ministers by July 2019.