About the Summit

Improving transportation connectivity between East and Central Africa holds the key to overall development of the region, paving the way for splendid opportunities for business and trade. Rural and landlocked countries connectivity is particularly important for Africa as agriculture is a very important economy activity while perishable products often suffered from delays and post-harvest losses in remote areas. Effective intermodal solutions is the key to increase cargo throughput of bulky goods especially the rich mining products from the regions.

The World Bank estimates that the cost of moving goods in Africa is, on average, two or three times higher than in developed countries so improving transport is particularly a pressing issue. Across the continent improved infrastructure of all sorts may increase economic growth by 2% a year. In Kenya, the Government expects the construction of new railway from port in Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, will boost economic growth by 1.5% annually, as it will reduce the costs of moving freight by 60%.

Major challenges facing the land transport system in the regions include destroyed roads, ageing infrastructure, poor track condition and maintenance, low availability and reliability of rolling stock, absence of private investment in infrastructure, incompatible gauge between rails and low axle load.

The recent discovery of huge oil and gas reserves and the ongoing efforts to increase intra-regional trade have attracted the attention of private investors, in light of a higher demand for efficient and sustainable transport systems. The continent's road network has grown by an average of 7,500km a year over the past decade, a sharp increase from previous decades. More transport infrastructure investments are needed to leverage on the economic potential of the region.

The East & Central Africa Roads & Rail Infrastructure Summit, now into its sixth year, is an important and relevant platform to get the latest update on transport & investment policies, priority projects, procurement opportunities, project partnership and investment in the emerging roads and rail transport infrastructure sector of East & Central Africa.

East & Central Africa's Roads & Rail Project Snapshots:

Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda & DRC

The construction of a standard gauge railway, the Central Corridor Railway, to link the hinterland of the East African region with the port of Dar es Salaam will begin on 2015. The 2,561-km-long railway, estimated to cost TZS 14 trillion, will begin at the port of Dar es Salaam and serve the landlocked countries of Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It will have spur lines to Kigali, Bujumbura and Masaka. The railway project, which is expected to be accomplished within five years, is meant to ease movement of cargo by rail, which is cheaper and carries more freight than road transportation.

Tanzania, Burundi & Rwanda

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will be funding the Central Corridor Transport Programme feasibility studies, environmental assessments, engineering designs, and preparation of bidding documents for several road sections of the central corridor transport programme. The roads concerned will be Rusumo-Lusahunga in Tanzania, Rumonge-Rutunga-Bujumbura in Burundi, Nyakanazi-Kasulu-Manyovu and Kayonza-Kigali in Rwanda. The value of the loan is USD 2.6 million.

DRC, Angola & Zambia

Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC) and Caminhos de Ferro de Benguela (CFB) are in discussion on how the DR Congo can link to the newly-rehabilitated Benguela rail line in Angola and thereby gain access to Lobito Port. SNCC is looking for funding for the 400-km rail stretch from the border town of Luau to the Congolese Copperbelt.

Zambia may soon have another private railway line that would link the country with Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Chingola in northern region, after North Western Railway and South Africa's Grindrod Limited signed a USD 1 billion joint venture agreement to construct a more than 580-km rail link. The railway project when completed, will link Zambia with Angola up to the port of Jimbe. The first 290-km phase of the line will run from Chingola to the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines, at an estimated capital cost of about USD 489 million. The second phase, that will cost USD 500 million, will connect with the Benguela railway line on the Zambia-Angola border near Jimbe and will open a direct corridor to Lobito.

Burundi & Zambia

Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) is planning the construction of the 290-km Nseluka-Mpulungu Greenfield Rail Link in northern Zambia. The rail spur would link to the TAZRA line, improve access to the Great Lakes and reduce the cost of trade between Zambia and Burundi within the context of reduction of intra-African trade links along the North-South Corridor. Breakbulk trade is long-standing between Mpulungu Port and Bujumbura Port but has been limited by poor infrastructure.
Congo Republic

Construction of support transport infrastructure for the Nabeba iron ore project is expected to begin in 2016. Nabeba will be linked through a 70-km link rail line. The cost of the infrastructure is estimated at USD 3.5 billion

A 375-km Awash-Woldia rail line in central Ethiopia that will link the country's northern and eastern transport systems started construction on February 2015. The estimated cost of the Project is USD 1.7 billion and the railway project to be built by Yapi Merkezi, a company based in Turkey, will be finalized in three and a half years.

Ethiopia just started the construction of Mekelle-Hara Gebeya-Woldia railway project which will link the North and North East of the country to the new port of Tadjourah port being constructed in Djibouti. That 220-km link will be constructed by the China Communication Company at a cost of USD 1.5 billion.

The Ministry of Transport has identified four major highway road rehabilitations that will enhance Tanzania's regional transport capability. The 100-km Dar es Salaam-Chalinze expressway would be upgraded at a cost of USD 520 million. The 105-km Arusha-Moshi-Himo road will be dualised at a cost of USD 400 million. The 188-km Kigoma Port-Kidahwe-Ilunde-Kaliua road would be upgraded at a cost of USD 150 million. The 260-km Manyoni-Tabora road would be rehabilitated at a cost of USD 57 million.

A consortium of construction companies is sought for the 238-km Malaba-Kampala (eastern route) rail upgrade project in south-eastern Uganda. The line will be standard gauge and a new route is planned. The feasibility study was undertaken by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) but the Project has been delayed. Gauff Engineers estimated the cost at USD 2.8 billion. Bid documents were recently approved by the Ministry of Works. Funding is being sought via an EPC concession or from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is the implementing agency for the planned Kampala-Jinja Toll Expressway. It will link the capital with the important industrial area of Jinja. Past plans have been for four to six lanes for the 77-km road. Cost estimates have also varied from USD 700 million to USD 1 billion. There are reports that the ministry of transport will be floating a USD 1 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) tender and that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will be the lead financial adviser. Construction could commence in 2015 with commissioning in 2020.

In 2013, the Zambian government allocated USD 120 million to kickstart the national rail rehabilitation programme notably for the acquisition of rolling stock and infrastructure. Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) requires 13 new locomotives over the next five years. A total of 2,600 wagons are required as well as 665,000 sleepers (180,000 are in stock). The Nacala line to Mozambique has increased requirements and an immediate need is 10 locomotives and 500 wagons. There is a need to rehabilitate 650 wagons plus rails. Some 2,000 kilometres of greenfield lines are planned excluding sidings. USD 50 million and 100 kilometres of line are required to improve intermine connectivity in the Copperbelt.

The Road Development Agency (RDA) has allocated ZMK 193.4 million towards rehabilitation of the Chingola-Solwezi road in 2015 budget. This project covering a total distance of 168 kilometres has been packaged in three lots in order to expedite its implementation. The contract for its rehabilitation has been awarded but the signing of the contract for the full rehabilitation of this road, however, awaits confirmation of funding from the treasury.

Who Should Attend?

•      Policy Makers & Government Ministry Officials •      Operations Directors & Managers
•      Director-Generals, Presidents, CEOs, Managing Directors & General Managers •      Heads of Technology & Engineering
•      Chief Investment Officers •      Heads of Environment, Safety & Security
•      Finance Directors & Managers •      Sales & Marketing Directors/Managers
•      Business Development Directors & Managers •      Consulting Engineers
•      Supply & Operations Managers •      Technical Directors & Managers
•      Project Directors & Managers •      Civil Engineers
•      Administration Managers •      Mechanical Engineers
•      Project Analysts •      Heads of Project Finance
•      Commercial Directors & Managers •      Directors of Infrastructure
•      Market Development Managers •      Heads of Infrastructure Funds
•      Traffic Managers •      Heads of Logistics
•      Heads of Procurement & Tenders •      Transportation Consultants
•      Design & Planning Managers •      Supply Chain Directors & Managers
•      Maintenance & Repair Engineers •      Road Consultants & Advisors
•      Plant & Installation Managers •      Trade & Investment Advisors
•      Commercial Counsellors

"This is a really excellent summit!"
Meena Aunyisa, Assistant Director, M&E
Ministry of Transport, Tanzania

"Good networking and geo-political information."
Sundat Kapesi, Business Development Manager (East Africa)
Transnet SOC LTD

"Great experience learning about African rail issues."
Nathan Reese, Vice President Engineering
Amsted Rail