Wang Xinjiang (C), a Chinese engineer, works with Kenyan workers at the T-beam factory on the section six of Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway project, near Makueni, Kenya, on March 16, 2015. The project, expected to cost 3.8 billion U.S. dollars, involves the construction of about 480 kilometer railway line from the port city Mombasa to the capital city Nairobi. China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) is undertaking the project. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)
Wang Xinjiang (C), a Chinese engineer, works with Kenyan workers at the T-beam factory on the section six of Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway project, near Makueni, Kenya, on March 16, 2015. The project, expected to cost 3.8 billion U.S. dollars, involves the construction of about 480 kilometer railway line from the port city Mombasa to the capital city Nairobi. China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) is undertaking the project. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)

With US$20 billion per annum credit line made available by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) towards the development of the railway sector, Russian Railways (RZD) and the Russian Export Center (REC), are currently studying the possibility of trans-border railway lines and intra-country railway development projects in Ghana-Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Libya-Egypt and in East Africa region.

Afreximbank, last October, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russian Railways and the Russian Export Centre (REC) – agreeing to cooperate in implementing export and investment projects in Africa.

Under the terms of the MoU, the parties will cooperate by undertaking mutual consultations on export and investment projects in the railway sector abroad and by jointly developing project finance schemes in the infrastructure sectors in Africa.

Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said “there is a huge demand for infrastructure in Africa and that the continent needed investments of $20 billion per annum in the railway sector in order to bring it up to the required level”.

African countries could find partners that would help it to deliver the necessary investment and the MoU would enable Russia to begin to participate in the opportunities for infrastructure development that existed in the continent.

Anna Belyaeva, Managing Director for International Development of REC, explained in an interview with Russian newspaper – Gazetta, that Africa has been actively pursuing economic reforms.

“Many countries are facing major infrastructural changes and development. And this is exactly the niche that is most interesting for Russian companies. Russians are interested in almost all industries. There are various projects related to road, air and rail transport.”

Belyaeva reiterated that in building relationship, the priority must be on removing infrastructural constraints for economic development and for unlocking the potential in the different regions of Africa.

“People in African countries transport network system as important and are looking forward to cooperation with Russians,” she added.

She spoke of the readiness of Russian enterprises and industries to work with African partners on projects, adding that, there were 11 projects currently under development.

Russian Railways is a state transport authority reputed for developing and advancing technologies and techniques for effectively managing railway systems.

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