Global events company Terrapinn will host the twenty-second annual Africa Rail exhibition and conference to contribute to the development of the rail sector across Africa, says Terrapin business development manager Athena Maharaj.
She tells Engineering News that there will be a big focus on “looking ahead” this year – to the role of railways in the next 20 years and how to prepare Africa for a new era of mobility.
“Africa is looking to integrate into a global economy; it is simple – Africa’s roads are overused. “With the massive flow of goods out of South Africa and the flow of people through- out Africa, there is a concerted push towards railway development.”
Further, Africa Intermodal is a partner event to Africa Rail this year and will be collocated and running on the same dates as Africa Rail. Maharaj notes that there will be exponential growth in intermodal transport, and improved connectivity across the transport sector is expected to change the dynamics of trade in the region.
Some of the topics that will be discussed at Africa Rail include infrastructure development, operations and maintenance, innovation, digitalisation, intermodal transport and updates on African projects.
New to this year’s event is Women on Track, a platform that drives and influences the growth and development of women in the rail sector. Further, Maharaj notes that Terrapinn is proud to announce the Africa Rail Internship, whereby the company will host an engineering student for a week to join the team and learn key corporate skills.
More than 100 speakers will attend the conference, including Kenyan Ministry of Transport Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development principal secretary Charles Hinga Mwaura, parastatal railway Uganda Railways MD Charles Kateeba, Ghanaian Ministry of Railways Development Deputy Minister Andy Appiah-Kubi and State-owned railway operator TransNamib CEO Johny Smith.
Terrapinn is expecting 7 500 attendees from more than 70 international countries, 850 VIP buyers and 250 exhibitors.
The engineering unit of State-owned logistics group Transnet, Transnet Engineering and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, are the associate sponsors and will be supported by local steel and iron products manufacturer and supplier Naledi Inhlanganiso, wireless communications solutions provider Teltronic and railway supplier IRZ Lokomotiv as gold sponsors. Global electronics and electrical engineering products, systems and solutions provider Siemens will serve as bronze sponsor.
Africa Rail will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng, on June 19 and 20.