Iron nets save Africa: Africa cannot benefit from underground resources sufficiently due to transportation problems. Experts say the railway will solve Africa's logistics problem.
Copper, cobalt, zinc, silver, uranium… These mines are still sufficiently available in African countries such as Zambia or Congo. Apart from mines, there are also enough agricultural products transported to neighboring countries or ports. There is a huge potential. However, heavy shipping costs overshadow wealth.
It is possible to overcome the problem experienced by rail transport. The German Reconstruction Credit Agency (KfW) South Africa Officer Christian Vosseler said that South Africa may be the “key region” in rail transport, saying:
“In Africa, shipping costs are also very high compared to international conditions. This weakens the competitive environment in the country. The roads are broken. Those who come to Africa know, the route between Pretoria and Johannesburg needs to be relaxed. ”
The first Chinese started to lay the railways in Africa. Chinese companies gave billions of euros for the repair of old lines and the construction of new ones. They took raw materials as collateral. Thus, the Chinese have established their authority on railways in Africa.
But Vosseler argued that European investors could exist in the rail sector in Africa, despite China,
“A functional logistics infrastructure is very important for economic development. South Africa also aims to become the logistics base of the whole region. In this context, we see a great development potential in the railway sector in the region. ”
Germany lent 200 million euros to South Africa for ecological reasons. Indeed, cooperation with South Africa covers energy and climate issues. Vosseler states that transporting by roads is harmful to the environment, so they attach importance to shifting transportation from highways to railways.
Customs and inspection are also problematic
Road transport in Africa does not only harm the environment. Amadou Diallo, Senegal representative of DHL, which provides logistics services worldwide, explains the problem they experienced due to lost packages:
“Transportation by rail is easier. A lot of police and customs checks are carried out on African roads. Everything is more transparent by train. Everything is more lagel. Many goods are lost in transit today. Because illegal inspections are carried out. At the border, TIRs are stopped more often. But it all gets much easier by train. ”
Angola illustrates how the system works. Over four thousand kilometers of railway lines destroyed in the civil war have been repaired in recent years. According to estimates, China provided $ 10 billion to Africa's second largest oil producer company. Thus, the mines are quickly transported to Angola's three major ports, Luanda, Lobito and Namibe.
Angolanian economic expert David Kissadila complains that they are unable to connect the railways of Congo and Zambia by connecting them to the Angola line. According to the expert, the railway line opened in Angola cannot be used as intended. Senegalese Amadou Diallo said, “Because there are 54 different governments, 54 different heads of state, and 54 different infrastructure ministers in Africa. They follow 54 different policies. This complicates the situation. Coordination is improving nowadays. But it will take more time to fully recover. ”