Boosting Continental Trade via Rail – SARA Conference dates announced

2nd April 2024

The Southern African Railways Association (SARA) is pleased to announce the forthcoming annual Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for 20-23 August 2024 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. This year's event, themed "Boosting Continental Trade via Rail: Investments in African Railways for the Sustainable Development of the Continent," aims to spotlight the critical role of railways in driving economic growth, enhancing trade, and promoting sustainable development across Africa.

Established in 1996 with its headquarters in Harare, the Southern African Railway Association (SARA) operates as a specialized subsidiary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The organization is dedicated to promoting and enhancing rail transport services across the SADC region.

SARA comprises a variety of railway operators, both public and private, along with rail industry stakeholders from the Southern African region. It serves as a central hub for railway trade and regional integration. By providing a platform for collaboration, networking, and knowledge sharing among its members, SARA coordinates rail stakeholder dialogues to advance the sector's interests.

As the holder of the mandate for Rail Policy advocacy, SARA takes an active role in regional policy-making. Its efforts are centred on harmonizing regulations across different rail systems, facilitating the coordination of rail corridors, and promoting infrastructure development. SARA is unwavering in its commitment to enhancing rail competitiveness and advocating for equitable intermodal competition.

The core programs of SARA are aimed at augmenting various aspects of rail transport. These programs include initiatives to improve operational efficiency and safety in corridors, promote rail investments, and adapt to international best practices. By implementing these programs, the association aims to ensure that rail transport is competitive, reliable, and a fundamental part of the region's transport logistics chain.

SARA's ultimate goal is to foster a robust and efficient rail network throughout Southern Africa. This objective is integral to stimulating economic growth, facilitating regional integration, and promoting the socioeconomic well-being of the region's inhabitants. By enabling infrastructure development and enhancing rail competitiveness, SARA plays a vital role in bolstering regional economic development and trade.