A seminar aimed to discuss ways to aggressively promote the expansion of the rail sector in Africa to boost trade, is to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday, May 12.
It would be under the theme ‘Railway rolling stock financing: a new solution for Africa’.
Senior officials from the African Union Commission, African Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, Regional Economic Communities, African Export-Import Bank and the PTA Bank would be attending.
On hand, would also be Ministers of Transport, Chief Executive Officers of prominent railway authorities and representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Economic Planning and Transport.
They would be looking at how to modernize the continent’s railway network and to make it efficient.
The focus of the discussions would be on the Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, and how this could play key role in attracting private capital.
This was contained in a document made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Mr. Gatera Soteri of the ECA Regional Integration and Trade Division said ‘the purpose of attracting capital is to create a sustainable model for supporting existing and new rail projects’.
The Luxembourg Rail Protocol sets up a new legal regime for the recognition and enforcement of securities, particularly those of lenders, lessors and conditional vendors, when these securities are in railway rolling stock.
A policy statement and the framework for collective work on the implementation of the protocol at the regional level would be drawn.
Mr Soteri said; ‘we also expect commitment from our African leaders to ratify the Luxembourg Rail Protocol.’
He added that, so far, only 20 African States had ‘ratified a related protocol to the Cape Town Convention – the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment’.
He said with about 20 landlocked countries in the continent, an efficient railway network between countries could play significant role not only in providing environmentally sustainable and safe land transportation system but also facilitate trade, economic and social development.
The lack of infrastructure in Africa was reducing growth by two per cent annually and had become a serious bottleneck in terms of reaping the benefits of increased regional integration.
By Francis Ameyibor, GNA