African high speed rail network a step closer

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
11 October 2016

The goal of connecting all Africa’s major cities with a high-speed rail link has come a step closer with the signing of deal.

The African Union (AU) and the Chinese government have agreed a five-year action plan to establish a Project Implementation Unit and develop laws and regulations on railway cooperation.

The deal will also involve “supporting and facilitating cooperation between African and Chinese enterprise in local enterprise supplier development and development of advanced manufacturing across the African continent, transfer of technology, capacity building for local manufacturing and content, as well as education and the development of prerequisite skills”, said the AU.

The agreement was signed by chairwoman of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and envoy of the Chinese president Xu Shaoshi in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The train network is part of the AU’s Agenda 2063 development programme, with the goal of “connecting all African capitals and commercial centres through an African High Speed Train to facilitate movement of goods, factor services and people, reduce transport costs and relieve congestion of current and future systems”.

The programme also includes goals around expanding education, developing a commodities strategy and establishing a pan-African trade area and institutions.

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