Transport Papers

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  • Publication
    Modern Railway Services in Africa: Building Traffic - Building Value
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-09-25) World Bank
    The role of rail in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) changed considerably in the latter years of the twentieth century. Although some upgrading has occurred, most SSA networks outside South Africa are still operating to the standards to which they were originally constructed. To encourage the commercialization of the railways and reduce the burden on government finances, several countries concessioned their rail system from the 1990’s on. However, rail infrastructure improvements which encourage modal shift generate benefits from lower road congestion and maintenance costs, fewer road accidents, less pollution, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, many governments in Africa have therefore taken a renewed interest in rehabilitating and upgrading their railways, or in constructing new ones. They desire to improve their logistics efficiency and promote a green mode of transport that is less carbon intensive than road. The railways in Africa can be divided into four broad groups: mineral railways; new railways; legacy railways; and commuter railways. This note reviews the current situation and discusses the challenges and possible approaches to address them.
  • Publication
    Results of Railway Privatization in Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-01) Bullock, Richard
    This review is designed to assist the development community and policy makers in other countries who may be contemplating railway privatization. The report is principally concerned with the results of privatization rather than the processes or detailed concession structures, which have varied from country to country depending on diverse local circumstances. This report is concerned with the results of the African concessions. The report contains three main sections: (i) A summary of the background to railway development in sub-Saharan Africa to the start of the 1990's, together with a list of the railway privatizations and concessions undertaken over the last 10 years and a brief description of the main concessionaires; (ii) A more detailed presentation of the thirteen concessions, particularly the three which have been operating the longest ; (iii) An assessment of the overall results of railway privatization/concessioning.