From 18 – 29 April 2016, the Railway Training Centre of Moroccan National Railways (ONCF) in Rabat is hosting the 4th edition of the training course on railway safety for senior managers from a number of African countries including Algeria (SNTF), Cameroon (CAMRAIL), Djibouti (SDCF), Guinea (SNCFG), Senegal (ANCF), Tunisia (SNCFT) and Democratic Republic of Congo (SCTP).
The opening ceremony of this important training course was presided over by Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Director General of ONCF and Chairman of the UIC African Region, in the presence of Ambassadors from several African countries and ONCF managers.
This edition, which ties in with the roll-out of the 2016 Action Plan for the UIC African Region, stems from the new strategy entitled “Revitalising rail in Africa: Towards 2040”, whose aim – through taking concrete steps – is to support African railway networks in their upgrade and development projects. The majority of sub-Saharan African networks are lagging behind in terms of upgrading their production facilities. According to the afore-mentioned study, this requires around 81,000 km of lines to be brought up to date as well as 13,200 km of new lines to be built.
To make this training course more relevant, more attractive and to achieve the intended goals, a host of educational techniques has been developed. This consists of theory classes, study cases and lectures focused on specific topics co-led by UIC and ONCF experts, as well as organised visits to project sites.
In addition, it should be noted that ONCF is continuing to increase the number of initiatives to share its expertise and know-how, in order to give fresh impetus and re-invigorate the South-South partnership in the different areas of the railway system. The aim is to boost the development of a reliable and viable African rail transport system, providing sustainable mobility and economic inclusion across the continent. The figures reflect this statement: over the last five years around 160 African railway staff have received cross-sector training within the Moroccan railway network, 60 senior managers have been on fact-finding visits and shared good practices (following recommendations by funders and specialist railway institutions) as well as the organisation of one to two seminars and/or targeted conferences per year focusing on topics of current interest for the African railways.
Initiatives such as these tie in closely with the policy outlined by His Majesty King Mohammed VI with regard to reinforcing the South-South collaboration and improving the position and the competitiveness of the African continent on an international level.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, highlights the importance given to the training course in Morocco – whether it is for professional reasons, to pass on know-how, or for managerial reasons, for the organisation and management of developing networks.
This training course, which is developed at UIC in the framework of the Talent project, is set to expand at regional level. The training programmes – whether in Asia, the Middle-East or in Africa – will demonstrate the relevance of the involvement of UIC regions vis-à-vis their members in the coordination of these programmes that are adapted to the specific regional context.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux wishes to thank the chairman of the UIC regions – and in particular Mr Khlie – for his personal commitment in promoting this fundamental value of training, passing on knowledge and professional continuity.