The Union of African Railways Equipment Commission had held its third meeting at Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.
The Union of African Railways Equipment Commission had held its third meeting at Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Its aims include standardising rolling stock and a greater efficiency of service. The long term hope is that this will lead to improved economic development.
SYNOPSIS: For developing African countries an efficient railway system is of vital importance to economic growth. But so far, it's been retarded by a lack of standardised rolling stock, which has made it difficult to interconnect services so as to create what has been termed an "African network".
It was for those reasons that a joint meeting of the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations African Economic Commission decide, in 1972, to form the African Union of Railways. The Equipment Commission first met at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in March, 1973. Member countries at this year's meeting include Algeria, the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Zaire, Swaziland, Nigeria, Benin and the Ivory Coast.
Commission President, Mr. Abdel Rahman, of Sudan said the principal objectives were systems unification, an amalgamation of services, standardisation of rolling stock, and the administrative liaison of various railway offices. Seven sub-commissioners had been appointed to work on it.
The Secretary General, Mr. Adama Diagne, of Senegal also reiterated the aims of the Commission. Delegates were told that it would require dedication to make the railways efficient, but when it was achieved greater economic development would follow.