What role for the private sector in African railways development?

published in March 2011
Infrastructure to renew, new lines to build… Africa’s railways must face a whole host of challenges in order to contribute to the continent’s rapid development. What role can the private sector play?
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“Without the railroad, the Congo is not worth a penny”, declared the famous explorer Henry Morton Stanley at the end of the 19th century. More than a century later this quote still resonates with the Africa of today. The continent is experiencing strong growth and the role of the rail sector is greater than ever before. Offering a lower cost alternative to roads, rail networks are also longer lasting and produce a lower carbon footprint. Railways provide an indispensible means of moving mineral wealth and agricultural products to market and are essential for opening up landlocked countries.
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