Global events company Terrapinn will host the twenty-first annual Africa Rail exhibition and conference at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng, on June 12 and 13, which it believes will encourage the African railway industry to innovate and think differently.
Africa Rail is the meeting place of Africa’s railway sector and assists in showcasing the latest developments, innovations and investment opportunities, says Terrapinn business development manager Athena Maharaj. “By bringing together the most innovative minds from across rail and technology, Africa Rail ignites new ideas and inspires innovation across the sector.”
This year, Africa Rail aims to improve skills development in the African rail space, empower women in rail, and promote localisation benefiting small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups. The event also aims to educate the market on how to do business on the continent, by hosting the relevant African rail operators and discussing the latest projects and tenders in their countries.
Maharaj mentions that the event plays a role in improving the rail sector throughout Africa. She adds that localisation in Africa will encourage international companies to find local partners to do business with, as well as enable local companies to take part in large-scale rail projects throughout Africa.
The event will have an entire track dedicated to women in rail, as it had last year.
New to the event is the railway operators pavilion that will host heads of procurement, a skills development demonstration theatre and a multimodal demonstration theatre. Maharaj further mentions that exciting industry announcements are made at the exhibition.
“Organisations use Africa Rail to exclusively launch products for yearly mass-marketing campaigns and announcements because there is vast media coverage, as well as buyers, investors and potential business partners.”
She notes that exciting announcements will be made on both days of the exhibition by digital industrial company General Electric, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, steel and iron products manufacturer and supplier Naledi Inhlanganiso and the engineering unit of State-owned logistics group Transnet, Transnet Engineering.
An expected 6 500 attendees can meet and do business with more than 120 exhibitors – including manufacturers and suppliers who will showcase their latest rail solutions and products – from more than 25 countries. Over 150 industry experts will address key challenges and opportunities in Africa. They will cover topics such as investment and funding, technology and signalling, infrastructure, intermodal, passenger rail, safety and African railway projects.
“Africa Rail will take up two enormous halls again this year; the event is an unrivalled platform for the continent’s railway industry to come together, learn, network and do business,” she notes.
Maharaj states that delegates from ministries of transport representing Burkina Faso, Uganda, Ghana, Burundi, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Egypt, Chad and South Africa have confirmed their attendance. Attendees from 22 African countries are expected to attend the event this year. “Africa Rail promises to be bigger and better than ever before.”