Free Trade: Stakeholders task AU leaders to fast track rail operation

Discussants at the webinar on the African High-Speed Railway Project have urged African Union and leaders of the continent to fast track implementation of the high-speed rail in order to enable the implementation of the continental free trade area.

The webinar, was organised on July 29, by the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and facilitated by the agency’s Project Adviser, Louis Napo Gnagbe, with top railway and infrastructure leaders on the continent participating.

AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa Mr. Raila Odinga, who chaired the event, challenged the continent to walk the talk, stressing that, “if Europe and North America could transform their railway systems in the time they did, Africa can even do better now”.

Odinga, observed that the continent has spent a lot of time on planning and emphasised that now is the time to hit the ground running as the world will not wait any longer.

Citing the new free trade area, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), the AU High Representative said transport logistics and interconnectivity are critical to the success of the project, decrying the very low connectivity among Africans due to poor transport connection.

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