Transnet National Ports Authority and the Ports Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa alongside eThekwini Municipality have joined forces to support one of Africa’s most important annual transport infrastructure initiatives taking place next week in Durban, South Africa: African Ports Evolution and African Rail Evolution as part of Transport Week.

With Transnet scheduled to spend a further R84-billion over the next three years on increasing the capacity of South Africa’s ports and railways and the development of the blue economy now contributing as much as 4.4% to national GDPs across Africa, Africa’s profile as a global trade partner is gaining momentum.

In order to keep pace with the 4th industrial revolution and prepare for post-neo-panamax shipping requirements to maximise trade, it has become critically important to not only build intelligent mobility into local hardware but also promote greater regional integration to shift trade and transport from overseas partners to regional partners.

“African Ports Evolution and African Rail Evolution is Africa’s largest initiative dedicated to driving Africa’s 2040 Vision for an integrated African continent where transport infrastructure and services enable the free movement of goods and passengers,” says Nevenka Ristic, Programme Director from Hypenica Pty Ltd, the organisers of the initiative.

Cross-border infrastructure delivery has been identified as pivotal to African development.  Transnet, for example, has demonstrated its commitment to pan-African development with plans to expand its port and rail infrastructure in eight African countries including Senegal, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.  Against this backdrop, African Ports Evolution and African Rail Evolution unites ports and rail professionals from more than 25 African ports authorities, rail operators, terminal operators and Ministries of Transport to catalyse macroeconomic growth through transport infrastructure delivery and optimisation.

Presided over by The Honourable Joe Maswanganyi, South Africa’s Minister of Transport and The Honourable Chibuike Amaechi, Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, the African Ports Evolution and African Rail Evolution unites over 2000 participants to boost intra-African trade, reduce port congestion, increase transport connectivity and identify new business opportunities to boost expansion and modernisation.

Other key personalities in attendance include Shulami Qalinge, Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports Authority, Immanuel Tino Hanabeb, Executive Commercial Director of Namport, Paulo Mata, Projects Executive Director from the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), and Jared Zerbe, CEO of Tanzania International Container Services, among others.

Sponsored by PIC Network, Ares Project Management, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Development Bank of Southern Africa, SAP, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs, the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of SA and many more, African Ports Evolution and African Rail Evolution has become an annual partner in development for Africa’s burgeoning transport sector.  “African Ports Evolution is like a buffet table of technology, innovation and creativity in port operations and maritime safety and security,” offers Paul Asare Ansah, Director General of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority and past participant to this critical think-tank transport initiative.

The Transport Evolution series of briefings, expos and conferences offers you access to the right information, knowledge, partners and training to help boost ROI on projects of all sizes in Africa. Visit http://www.transportevolution.com/