The will to establish seamless operations across the borders of East African countries in order to facilitate easy movement of passengers and goods is strong. This was the emerging issue at the recently concluded 7th East and Central Africa Roads and Rail Summit 2016 in Dar es Salaam.
The summit was convened to facilitate engagement on transport strategies in the contemporary times. With a majority of the regional countries engaging in rail construction initiatives, the summit provided a platform for the participants to deliberate on the future of rail and road development. The discussions majorly focused on electrification, regulatory structures and funding options for planned projects.
Kenya was lauded for the success being experienced in the development of the Mombasa to Malaba Standard Gauge Railway project along the region’s Northern Corridor. It was also noted that Kenya has mapped out a clear direction for the future of the existing Metre Gauge Railway line which will complement the Standard Gauge Railway network and road sector.
During his presentation, the Standard Gauge Railway Technical Advisor Eng. Solomon Ouna who represented Kenya Railways pointed out that the region requires substantive investments in many areas in order to achieve the goals that have been set out regarding railway infrastructure development in the region. He informed participants that with operations on the Standard Gauge Railway set to commence next year, Kenya has put in place the requisite interventions to ensure the line’s performance will be at its peak.
The summit brought together over 40 players in the road and rail transport sectors within the region to exchange views, learn about new techniques and technologies and generally share their experiences in road and rail development in the East and Central Africa.