Information published on 1 March 2021 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

African Railway Thursdays: railway partnership models in Africa and opportunities for development

On 25 February, the UIC African Region held the third in a series of dedicated African Railway Thursdays seminars, a bimestrial initiative focusing on the main activities and priorities for the region. This webinar on the topic of railway partnership models in Africa and opportunities for development was organised in partnership with EDR – Ethio-Djibouti Railways.

The webinar was attended by 106 participants representing UIC Africa members and authorities from Ethiopia and Djibouti, as well as representatives of the African Union’s Infrastructure and Energy Commission and AUDA-NEPAD. It was opened by the Minister of Transport of Ethiopia, Her Excellency Ms Dagmawit Moges, who outlined the EDR success story and noted the importance of the green railway, sustainable development and public/private financial investment.

Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, President of the UIC African Region, presented partnership in the African railway sector and the case of Moroccan Railways, outlining the key success factors for a win-win public-private partnership. UIC’s Director General, François Davenne, noted the importance of the webinars as a forum for exchange for the benefit of the African Region and reminded the participants of the importance of standardisation as a key provider of added value at UIC as the main technical body serving the entire community of railway stakeholders.

The presentations included an overview of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol tool for railway rolling stock financing, presented by Soteri Gatera of UNECA, the African Union Agenda 2063, presented by Younes Touitha of AUDA-NEPAD/UMA, and an overview of concession models in Africa provided by the UIC African Regional Bureau representative in Rabat, Said Chandid. Specific case studies were presented by Tilahun Sarka, Director General of Ethio-Djibouti Railways, and by Charles Yombo of Camrail. Thierry Béra, UIC African Region Coordinator, also announced the launch of the Vision 2063 study supported by UIC.

During the conclusions, François Davenne emphasised the importance of sustainable development and raised the possibility of organising the next UIC African Railways webinar specifically on this topic with the potential participation of the United Nations and the financial institutions with which they work. He suggested that a further webinar dedicated to PPP could be held in the future in order to share experience and best practices, as well as UIC’s technical and operational standards.

Presentations from the webinar are available at

For further information on the activities of the UIC African Region activities, please visit the UIC Africa website

For further information, please contact Thierry Béra, UIC African Region Coordinator, bera at and Maria Lafont, lafont at

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