In December 2018, AUDA–NEPAD engaged the services of a consultant for Africa’s Integrated High Speed Railway Network Project. The first experts’ meeting to review the outputs of consultancy was held from the 10 -12 April 2019. The objective of the experts meeting was to review and agree to on the results and outcomes of the Project Preparation Framework analysis, to be piloted during the first 10-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.
Mr Adama Deen, AUDA-NEPAD Senior Advisor on Strategic Infrastructure stressed that the Africa Integrated High Speed Railway Network one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, the blue print for continental development.
Following the engagement of the consultant for the project, the inception report and the prioritisation framework have since been developed. Therefore, it is at this meeting that experts interrogated the prioritisation framework and the multi criteria analysis to be used.
“We must invest in infrastructure but do so diligently and ensure there is value for money in every infrastructure investment we undertake,’’ Hon Raila Odinga, African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa informed the meeting participants.
Hon Odinga gave a presentation on what railways can do to the growth of countries and economies. He gave an example of the Kenya-Uganda railway, which cost £5m and was described as the Lunar Express. This railway was a major success to the economies of Kenya and Uganda, illustrating that in Africa, social and economic transformation cannot be attained without the development of railways.
Hon Odinga called on African leaders to make the hard decisions to develop and build its High Speed Rail for the benefit of the African people.
Mr Louis Napo Gnagbe, Project Advisor at AUDA-NEPAD welcomed all the initiatives related to promoting this major continental project.For intraregional trade to take place, Africa needs infrastructure such as railways to connect countries, projects such as the Trans-African beltway will open up the interior.
The meeting was attended by over 20 experts from around the continent. Its outcomes will be submitted to the forthcoming AU Specialised Technical Committee on Transcontinental Transport Infrastructure connectivity Experts Meeting and Ministerial Conference, slated between 14 and 18 April 2019 in Cairo, Egypt, for endorsement and adoption.