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Nigeria’s minister, NRC boss for Africa’s rail freight use in logistics confab

Nigeria’s minister of transportation; Rotimi Amaechi will be joining other government officials across the globe next week Monday and Tuesday for the forthcoming Africa’s rail freight use virtual conference. Kurt Bauer, directo, long-distance traffic and new rail business, O.B.B. Personenverkehr Germany is expected to deliver the keynote address.

The Africa’s Rail Conference holds physical conference every year in South Africa to chart a course on ways of exploring areas of improvement on the continent’s rail system, but this year’s event will be restricted to virtual conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Expected at the virtual conference alongside the transportation minister Clive Roberts, a professor of railway systems and railway research director, Birmingham centre for rail research and education, United Kingdom, Julio Gomes-Pomar, chairman, IE Centre for Transport Economics and Infrastructure Management, Spain.

Others government functionaries are Andy Appiah-Kubi, deputy minister in the ministry of transport, Ghana, James Sankwasa, deputy minister in the ministry of works and transport, Namibia and Ronah Serwadda, commissioner  and regional integration expert, ministry of East African Community Affairs, Uganda 

Expected at the virtual meeting is Fidet Okhiria, the newly reappointed managing director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) that will be joining speakers from Ghana and Senegal in providing spotlights into the hottest projects in in these countries and what is being done to open the investment door.

Crucial topics that will be handled by various industry experts are cyber-defence: guarding rail against evolving threats, smart infrastructure: digitalising to optimise your assets as it relates to rail technology, extending the life of rolling stock via on board monitoring, including data and analytics in African Rail operations in terms of intelligent infrastructure.

Other areas of searchlights are the new tech in train to ground communication, shifting from a product-only business to a lifecycle business in rolling stock, forging rails path towards IoT infrastructure, signalling and communications build out in Africa, observing rolling stock and detecting early failure, and leveraging ML, AI and automation to address cost and performance.

Slated for discuss is increasing private investment into African Rail projects using the Luxembourg model, assessment on regional integration-Taking full advantage of the Africa continental free trade area agreement, use of rail freight in logistics, rains with brains: Advantages of AI and digitisation in terms of operational efficiency with finance and investment experts taking a look at developing a bankable project.

While speakers on intermodal freight will be discussing issues on overcoming barriers of entry preventing emergence of new entrants, technological advances in operational efficiency when it comes to operational efficiency, government officials from Namibia, Botswana, Congo and Mauritius will be looking at what is being done to open the investment door taking excursion at the hottest projects in the pipeline. 


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