The Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. Atanas Maina was among the Key speakers when over 150 Railway Infrastructure experts drawn from East Africa and beyond converged in Nairobi on November 21st and 22nd, 2017 to discuss current and emerging trends in the sector. This was during the 2-day East Africa Rail Conference 2017 that was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Coming soon after the construction of the Mombasa – Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway line in Kenya and successful operation of the Madaraka Express Passenger Service which has enhanced passenger transportation, The East Africa Rail 2017 conference was a benchmarking and networking platform of industry experts from different countries to explore ways to catapult growth in rail infrastructure.
Speaking at the Conference, KR MD said Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which has been billed as one of the most ambitious projects, has been one of the greatest success stories. He said plans to construct the line along Northern Corridors section that lies within Kenya are at an advanced stage. The plans will yield a new port in Kisumu to serve Uganda and Tanzania as part of SGR Phase 2 thus opening up the region and enhance inter-regional trade. He also informed participants that Kenya is spearheading the development of Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia- Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project. Development of rail infrastructure is one these key projects under LAPSSET.
to be held at the Crowne Plaza on 21st and 22nd will be a bench marking and networking platform as the rest of the region plan to improve their railway transport.
Speakers at the event emphasized on the need for more collaboration in the sector to strengthen the region’s and in essence Kenya’s position as a gateway and a transport and logistics hub to the East African sub-region and the entire Great Lakes region. It is estimated that over $100 Billion is being invested in rail projects in the region, which in essence will facilitate trade, promote regional economic integration and boost interconnectivity between African countries. Africa’s landmass is estimated to be 30 million square kilometers with 66, 011 kilometers of rail roads concentrated in coastal areas to transport raw materials to ports.
The event was organized by regional rail players in partnership with Brand Kenya Board and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI). Some of the delegates who spoke at the conference included representatives from Rail Working Group, Switzerland, Egyptian National Railways, Uganda Railways Corporation, Ethiopian Railways Corporation, Rwanda Transport Development Agency, Industrial Infrastructure, IDC, South Africa, COMESA and ACTESA, TAZARA, Tanzania, among others.