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Africa: Key upcoming and ongoing regional rail projects [free access]

March 1, 2021

In Africa, over USD72 billion is planned to be invested in 29 projects aimed at expanding and modernising the regional rail network in the eastern part of the continent. These rail expansion projects are a part of nine programmes, which are summarised in Table 1.

 

Table 1: Rail expansion and modernisation programmes in East Africa

Programme

Description

Abidjan–Ouagadougou–Bamako Multimodal Transport Corridor

Modernisation and rehabilitation of multimodal corridor impacted by the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire. The corridor will connect Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

Beira–Nacala Multimodal Transport Corridors

Development of modern rail corridors connecting Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Central Multimodal Transport Corridor

Modernisation of roads connecting Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tanzania’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is also a part of this programme.

Dakar–Bamako–Niamey Multimodal Transport Corridor

Modernisation of regional transport infrastructure network in West Africa and development of smart rail corridor

Douala–Bangui Douala–N’Djamena Multimodal Transport Corridor

Modernisation of multimodal transport corridor in Central Africa

Kinshasa–Brazzaville Bridge Road and Rail Project & Rail to Ilebo

Development of a combined road and rail bridge as well as a rail line connecting the Lumbumbashi–Ilebo Line in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

LAPSSET Corridor Project

Development of new highways and rail lines connecting Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan

Northern Multimodal Transport Corridor

Development of smart road and rail corridors in southern Africa

North–South Multimodal Transport Corridor

Development of smart road and rail corridors in southern Africa

Note: DRC- Democratic Republic of the Congo; LAPSSET- Lamu Port South Sudan–Ethiopia Transport

Source: LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority, Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)

 

Table 2 provides information about key upcoming and ongoing rail projects.

 

Table 2: Key rail projects

Programme

Country

Project name

Length (km)

Current status

Cost (USD billion)

Abidjan–Ouagadougou–Bamako Multimodal Transport Corridor

 

Burkina Faso

Abidjan–Ouagadougou Narrow Gauge Railway (Burkina Faso section)

NA

NA

NA

Côte d’Ivoire

Abidjan–Ouagadougou Narrow Gauge Railway (Ivory Coast section)

NA

NA

0.60

Beira–Nacala Multimodal Transport Corridors

 

Mozambique

Beira–Machipanda Railway Upgrade

317

Under procurement

NA

Nacala Railway Line

909

Under construction

3.50

Zimbabwe

Machipanda–Harare Railway Upgrade

318

Under construction

NA

Central Multimodal Transport  Corridor

 

Tanzania

Dar es Salaam–Isaka– Mwanza Standard Gauge Railway

1,219

Under construction

2.45

Dar es Salaam–Morogoro Standard Gauge Railway

205

Under construction

1.20

Dodoma–Morogoro Standard Gauge Railway

336

Under construction

1.90

Dodoma–Tabora Standard Gauge Railway

294

Under planning

NA

Tanzania, Rwanda

Isaka–Kigali Standard Gauge Railway

571

Under procurement

2.45

Dakar–Bamako–Niamey Multimodal Transport Corridor

Mali

Dakar–Bamako Standard Gauge Railway (Mali section)

1,228

Under planning

2.2

Senegal

Dakar–Bamako Standard Gauge Railway (Senegal section)

Under planning

Douala–Bangui Douala–N’Djamena Multimodal Transport Corridor

Cameroon, Chad

Douala–N’Gaoundéré–N’Djamena: Railway and Intermodal Facility

2,000

NA

5.00

Kinshasa–Brazzaville Bridge Road and Rail Project & Rail to Ilebo

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Kinshasa–Ilebo Railway

870

Under planning

16.94

LAPSSET Corridor Project 

Kenya

Isiolo–Nakodok Standard Gauge Railway

720

Under planning

3.90

Lamu–Isiolo Standard Gauge Railway

537

Under planning

1.50

Kenya, Ethiopia

Isiolo–Moyale Standard Gauge Railway

460

Under planning

1.70

Northern Multimodal Transport Corridor

Kenya

Kisumu–Malaba Standard Gauge Railway

107

Under planning

1.70

Nairobi–Malaba Standard Gauge Railway (part of Mombasa–Kigali Railway Project)

NA

Under construction

6.50

Nairobi–Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway

120

Under planning

1.55

Naivasha–Kisumu Standard Gauge Railway

262

Under planning

3.70

Rwanda

Mirama Hills–Kigali Railway (part of Mombasa–Kigali Project)

130

Under planning

4.40

South Sudan

Juba–Bor–Malakal–Renki–Sudan border Railway

NA

Under planning

NA

Uganda

Bihanga–Mirama Hills Standard Gauge Railway

205

Under planning

NA

Kampala–Kasese Standard Gauge Railway (part of Mombasa–Kigali Railway Project)

NA

Under planning

4.40

Kasese–Mirama Hills Standard Gauge Railway (part of Mombasa–Kigali Railway Project)

NA

Under planning

4.40

Malaba–Kampala Standard Gauge Railway (part of Mombasa–Kigali Railway Project)

273

Under planning

2.30

Tororo–Gulu–Pakwach Standard Gauge Railway (part of Mombasa–Kigali Railway Project)

NA

Under planning

NA

North–South Multimodal Transport Corridor

Zambia

Chingola–Solwezi Railway Extension

536

Under planning

0.30

Note: NA- Not available

Source: PIDA, The Africa Report

 

Most of the rail projects under these programmes are in the planning phase. Figure 1 provides information about the current status of these projects.

 

Figure 1: Current status of projects

 

Note: Excludes two projects, the status of which is not available.

Source: PIDA, The Africa Report