The African Union (AU) is attempting an ambitious project called the African Integrated High Speed Railway Network (AIHSRN), which is part of a framework called Agenda 2063.
This railway network aims to connect all of Africa’s countries, creating a single Africa Continental Free Trade Zone not unlike China’s Belt And Road Initiative.
The railway network will boost African trade by connecting landlocked countries to coastal countries and everything in between.
Historically, most railway lines in Africa were built by former colonial powers and were abandoned due to high maintenance costs. Furthermore, the railway gauges were built in different sizes, making it impossible for trains to move from one track to another, and incompatible with other countries on the continent. This has handicapped trade within Africa, making it expensive and time-consuming due to the lack of direct routes.
African countries are currently negotiating loan agreements with countries such as China while avoiding Western interests as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
A subsection called the Trans-African Railway project, which is part of the AIHSRN, will link Dakar to Djibouti, passing through over 10 countries, each responsible for funding its own section of the railway.
Closer to (my) home, there has been progress on the Walvis Bay-Windhoek-Gaborone-Pretoria link.
Subscribe to my War Report, sent to your inbox every few days.