Addis Ababa — A seminar aiming to enhanced advocacy for the major expansion of the rail sector in Africa will be held in Addis Ababa Sunday with ministers and stakeholders discussing the need for the continent to speed up its efforts for an efficient railway network.
The main objective of the side event is to discuss the Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, and how the Protocol will play a key role in attracting private capital.
"The purpose of attracting capital is to create a sustainable model for supporting existing and new rail projects," said Economic Commission for Africa's Soteri Gatera of the Regional Integration and Trade Division, whose office is organizing the event.
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 on and framework for collective work on the implementation of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol at the regional level is also expected to be drawn at the side event said Mr. Soteri.
"We also expect commitment from our African leaders to ratify the Luxembourg Rail Protocol. So far only 20 African States have 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," said Mr. Soteri.
With about 20 landlocked countries in Africa, an efficient railway network between and among countries has the potential to play a significant role in providing an environmentally sustainable and safe land transportation system, and in facilitating trade and economic and social development.
The lack of infrastructure in Africa is reducing growth by 2 per cent annually and is a critical bottleneck in terms of reaping the benefits of increased regional integration.
The side event will be held under the title; Railway rolling stock financing: A new solution for Africa. It will be held in the United Nations Conference Centre on Sunday 13 May starting at 9am.
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; officials from Ministries of Finance, Economic Planning and Transport, Ministers of Transport and Chief Executive Officers of prominent railway authorities are expected to attend the seminar.
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