The 14th edition of the UIC Regional Assembly for Africa brought together around 15 participants with Members from Algeria, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Morocco, Djibouti and Burkina Faso.
The event was opened by Mr Mohamed R. Khlie, President of the UIC African region and CEO of Moroccan Railways ONCF and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux – Director General of UIC, alongside Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Director, and Coordinator of the African region.
At the beginning of the meeting, acknowledgement was made of the recent appointment of Mr Anis Oueslati as new President Director General of Tunisian National Railways (SNCFT) and thanks was given to the former Director General.
After approving the minutes of the 13th edition of the Regional Assembly in Casablanca last year, Mr Saïd Chandid, Director for Strategy and Communications of Moroccan Railways ONCF, presented the UIC African region activities for 2017 as well as the action plan for 2018. Ms Firdaous Boutahar then presented the financial situation of the region.
One of the main aspects for the region is that training sessions are and will still be for 2018-2019 a priority for the region especially regarding maintenance, security and safety. Sponsoring would be an essential aspect to follow up to keep on developing training sessions and activities. Many members have training centres in their country and during the Assembly the idea was raised to try to develop a training platform for African railway professionals.
The revitalisation of the cooperation between the African Union of Railways (UAC) and the UIC African region at the service of the member railway networks was actively discussed between members. Africa has the resources to be powerful and cooperation with international organisations and the private sector is crucial to move forward. The African region must keep an ambitious long-term vision in spite of regional challenges. Mr Marc Guigon, recently appointed Director of the Passenger Department, presented the activity of the department and how the African region can benefit from their expertise.
The UIC Regional Assembly for Africa was the occasion to welcome the new regional coordinator Thierry Bera, Financial Director at UIC who will be assisted by Ms Maria Lafont, Advisor Knowledge. The Regional Presidency thanked Mr Wisniewski and Ms Marie-Luz Philippe for their support with the region.
To conclude the meeting, Mr Mohamed Khlie was unanimously re-elected President for the African region.