Given the pan-African nature of the continental high speed rail project, a key objective of the African Integrated High Speed Railway Network is connectivity of Africa’s capital cities and mega-cities, including but not limited to, commercial hubs/economic zones, and tourist destinations, among others.

The viability and sustainability of the project will largely depend on the extent to which its development is linked to the planning, development and operation of existing and planned national and regional high speed railway networks, electrical power and ICT infrastructure facilities of the continent.

The existing conventional (‘low speed’) freight and passenger rail networks in Africa, essentially form the backbone of the continent’s railway infrastructure assets. They contribute significantly to the development and operations of Africa’s manufacturing, mining, and industrial outputs.

Cognisance of the magnitude of the investment required for the African Integrated High Speed Railway Network project, key selected routes and corridors, based on a proven business case, will be piloted for replication.

Priority areas of the African Integrated High Speed Railway Network project, with regards national readiness for infrastructure connectivity, include technical studies for rehabilitating and/or constructing the 12,000km missing links and at least 20% of the construction on the first pilot project which needs to be completed by 2023.

The overall project comprises 4 longitudinal and 6 latitudinal North-South and East-West continental railway networks respectively, to be implemented over a period of three planning phases; short term (2015- 2025), medium term (2025-2045), and long term (2045-2065) development plans of 50 years.

After a thorough process in accordance with African Union procurement standards, the evaluation team recommended eight consultancy firms to be shortlisted for the next stage of procurement of consultancy services, which will be the Request for Proposals. The firms will be invited to submit their technical and financial proposals to undertake the Detailed Scoping Study of the Africa Integrated High Speed Railway Network and Master Plan.

Following the opening of the technical proposals on 12 January 2018, a retreat will be held from 12 – 16 February 2018, in, Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting will be convened in order to undertake a detailed review of the technical and financial proposals received from the seven engineering consulting firms (out of the eight shortlisted), that responded to the request for proposals issued in December 2017, by the NEPAD Agency’s Procurement Division.

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