Not only has South Africa’s Transnet designated the importance of local infrastructure development but also the importance of intra-African trade and development as a strategic growth area for 2017 and beyond, “We are not going into Africa, we have always been in Africa but we are now at the point where we are diversifying from our South African base to expand operations into other African countries,” offers Siyabonga Gama, Group Chief Executive of Transnet regarding cross-border relations.
Ports authorities and rail operators across Africa are actively seeking solutions to boost intra-African trade, reduce port congestion, increase port connectivity and throughput and accommodate the next generation of ships being developed around the world in the wake of the latest Panama Canal upgrade and expansion.
Hypenica Pty Ltd responds to the transport infrastructure gap with its Transport Week initiative including an all-new line-up of African ports authorities, rail operators and terminal operators who will be contributing their experience and expertise to drive transport infrastructure development during the 6th annual African Ports Evolution Forum taking place in Durban from 17 to 18 October 2017. The event is strategically located with the 2nd annual African Rail Evolution Forum and Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal’s Export Week initiative.
The 6th annual African Ports Evolution Forum unites ports authorities, terminal operators, investors and government from more than 29 countries to identify new business opportunities for expansion and modernisation. US $27.5 billion is now being invested to develop 10 key transport corridors within the sub-Saharan region including major port expansion projects now underway in more than 10 African countries. The scale of this development is significant to overcome the infrastructure gap. South Africa alone currently suffers from infrastructure maintenance backlogs, across both maritime and rail infrastructure, of over US $200 million.
The 2nd annual African Rail Evolution Forum, co-located with African Ports Evolution, is the only African forum for maintenance and rehabilitation professionals that features best practices and pioneering case studies on maintaining, upgrading and future-proofing ageing rolling stock; infrastructure; track and perway; signalling technology; OHTE electrical and cabling; equipment; and rail maintenance software and technology. High-level networking, panel discussions and case studies will address the latest trends and techniques in maintenance and rehabilitation to put African rail back on track.
Expansion and modernisation remain at the top of Africa’s transport agenda as progressive development enables port connectivity and increases cargo throughput. Port and corridor expansion is not only creating new business opportunities for port city development across the sub-Saharan region but also opening up new access to hinterland areas and strategic trade corridors.
“African Ports Evolution Forum unpacks best practices for sustainable port development and expansion with emphasis on the latest technologies available to drive sustainable construction, interoperability of systems, port efficiency and optimisation,” says Carly Pols, International Business Director at Hypenica Pty Ltd.