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Africa Finance Corporation signs MoU with Alstom to deliver rail project in the DRC

30th May 2024

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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Infrastructure financier the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and sustainable mobility company Alstom have signed a memorandum of understanding to propel the development of the Kinshasa MetroKin rail project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The partnership was announced alongside the recent State visit of DRC President Félix Tshisekedi to France.

The partnership builds on the AFC's prior agreement with Trans Connexion Congo (TCC) to develop a mass transit system that extends across 300 km of railroad in Kinshasa.

The project will unfold in four phases, starting with the overhaul of a 25 km stretch from Kinshasa's central station to N’Djili International Airport, completely upgrading the existing railway.

The AFC has committed an initial investment of $3-million to advance the project development phase, leading to financial closure. As the mandated lead arranger, the AFC is spearheading the transformative urban project.

“Under the lead of the AFC, with the support of Alstom and the Congolese government, the materialisation of this project becomes effective through the project company MetroKin.SA,” MetroKin MD Erick Onepunga Yongo explained.

Alstom's involvement as a strategic industrial partner is in support of the broader goal of enhancing urban mobility across Africa. Drawing from its experience in South Africa's urban train systems and regional projects such as Dakar's express train and Abidjan's first metro line, Alstom aims to significantly contribute to Kinshasa's transit overhaul.

"We are pleased to welcome . . . Alstom to the project. Their expertise will be crucial as we push forward with this project, which promises to reshape Kinshasa's economic landscape, create numerous jobs, and transform lives," AFC project development and technical solutions senior director Amadou Wadda said.

Kinshasa faces critical transport infrastructure challenges, exacerbated by rapid population growth and inadequate development. The current transportation system meets less than half of the daily demand, according to the city's urban transport master plan.

This project aims to expand and modernise the existing rail network, improving connectivity, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and significantly cutting transportation times between the suburbs and city centre.

"Through our enhanced presence in the region, Alstom is committed to partnering with MetroKin to support the development of an effective mass urban transit solution for Kinshasa. We aim to contribute to the city's development ambitions by leveraging our global expertise and supporting its citizens in their mobility needs,” Alstom Africa MD Bernard Peille said.

The project has reached significant milestones, with Alstom joining at a crucial time when detailed technical designs are being finalised. The combined strengths and shared vision of the AFC, MetroKin and Alstom are set to ensure the successful completion of the development phase by the end of this year.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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