Russian Railways ready to offer Africa best railway technologies and competencies
Alexander Misharin, the First Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railways, has taken part in the panel session on Transport Infrastructure on the African Continent – Prospects for Joint Projects.
During the session, Misharin discussed the possibilities for building new and modernising existing infrastructure facilities in Africa with the participants of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, which is now being held at Sochi in Southern Russia, as well as supply proposals for equipment and rolling stock and the development of human resources.
Misharin told the participants about the directions railway development was taking in Russia and the results achieved so far. In particular, the experience of working in various climatic zones from the Arctic to desert conditions, as well as the experience to date of transportation on railway stretches with both intensive and light traffic– all which enables the RZD Holding to offer and apply existing technologies, depending on the needs of each individual African country.
According to Misharin, Africa has created unique opportunities for the development of railways. "Of the nine fastest-growing countries in the world over the next five decades, five are in Africa. We are ready to transfer not only technological projects and solutions, but also financial instruments that are used across the whole world, such as public-private partnerships and various forms of concessions – methods and approaches that will allow large-scale infrastructure projects to be implemented," said Misharin.
The dialogue between Russian Railways and the countries on the African continent involves transferring experience in logistics and transportation, engineering and infrastructure construction and consulting. A number of potential projects are under discussion with the Company’s Egyptian counterparts and project initiatives are under consideration in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Angola and other African states.
At the end of the panel session, the participants raised the possibility of developing the rail system at the continental level. Aleksandr Misharin expressed the readiness of Russian Railways to cooperate in the development of trans-African routes. "If a management company with the task of implementing large-scale infrastructure projects will be set up, we are ready to take part in it," said the First Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railways.