AFRICA MUST UNITE : L`AFRIQUE DOIT S`UNIR
by PD Lawton 12 January 2021
part 1 of a previously published article `AFRICAN NEW PARADIGM`
The intention of this article is to give an over-view of the progress of the new paradigm in Africa. The new paradigm is the emergence of the industrialized sovereign nation states of Africa where the dignity of humanity can be upheld, this begins with the construction of the physical economy.
“Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation. The notion that in order to have a nation it is necessary for there to be a common language, a common territory and common culture has failed to stand the test of time or the scrutiny of scientific definition of objective reality… The community of economic life is the major feature within a nation, and it is the economy which holds together the people living in a territory. It is on this basis that the new Africans recognise themselves as potentially one nation, whose dominion is the entire African continent“ – Kwame Nkrumah
In November of this year, China announced the complete alleviation of absolute poverty in all counties. In what has been the poorest region, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, home to 3.08 million people, the task has been all the more challenging as the region is predominantly desert, with only 4% of the land having water. But no matter the conditions, the standard of living for every Chinese citizen has now been raised. What has been achieved in China, is possible in Africa and given that Africa already has the incredible opportunity of the Belt and Road Initiative, it can be achieved much faster.
Step by step a new global paradigm is starting to take hold, threatening the historic global order with all of its trappings of poverty, disease and the subjugation of human creativity.
Despite the fact that only a few within the media cover the good news, Africans are a powerful force driving this new paradigm. In fact, Africa will become the new paradigm of human creativity. As the great pan Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah said :
“It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.”
China recognizes Africa`s important role in the world. President Xi Jinping has said that Africa is China`s foremost partner in the Belt and Road vision to build a shared future for mankind.
Africa`s Integrated High Speed Railway Network – AIHSRN
Currently, Africa has a rail density of approximately 2.5 km for 1000 km², compared to the world average of 23 for 1000 km².
Until radical changes in the last decade, especially the Moroccan high speed train, al Boraq, railways were colonial relics running on narrow gauge lines at extremely low speeds, prone to derailment and built for the sole purpose of servicing export of raw materials to the North. Beginning the mid 1980s, under the IMF`s destructive and disastrous Structural Adjustment Programs many of Africa`s railways, having previously been state-owned, were privatized and sold off as assets to pay off national debt . The railways largely suffered under private sector ownership which did not re-invest into the industry. The result was that many countries such as Ghana , until recently, have found themselves with an out-dated, non-functioning railway grid.
The African Integrated High-Speed Railway Network (AIHSRN),was approved by the African Union (AU) in 2014. The high speed rail network includes 6 East – West corridors and 3 North – South corridors. This plan will revolutionize life on the continent. It will mean that for the first time in history, a traveller can go on the same , super modern train from Point Noire in the Republic of Congo on the Atlantic Coast, due East to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean. Or indeed, from Dakar in Senegal due East to Asmara in Eritrea. Or a traveller can go from Tripoli in Libya due South to Luanda in Angola and then on to Cape Town, South Africa. Or you can go from Alexandria in Egypt due South to Mogadishu in Somalia and then on to Durban in South Africa.
The Railway Project includes more than revolutionary railways, it includes the building of numerous new bridges, roads and ports which are all needed to complete the transformation of transport infrastructure throughout the continent. These new bridges, roads and ports are hugely beneficial in their own right for the economy, for access to healthcare and educational facilities, for life in general but put together with a modern integrated railway network, it is a leap frog for all of Africa into a new economic league which means that the alleviation of poverty will become, not a glimmer of possibility, but a certainty if Africa adopts the Chinese model of development.
AIHSRN Progress as of December 2020.
====E-W Addis Ababa – Djibouti completed 2017 which is first trans-national electrified line in Africa
====N-S Casablanca -Tangiers completed in 2018 is the fastest train in Africa. It is high speed with the northern section running at 320km/hr
=====E-W Mombasa to Nairobi completed. Kampala to Mombasa completed.
Part of the lines connecting Bangui, CAR and Juba, South Sudan.
====E-W Dar Es Salaam to Morogoro completed
====N-S Abuja to Kaduna completed
====N-S Lagos to Ibadun completed
====E-W Alexandria to Marsa Matruh, part of Alexandria to Banghazi, Libya completed
====E-W Alexandria to Qina, part of Alexandria to Khartoum completed
Under active consideration:
Asmara- Djibouti. Eritrea to Djibouti via Ethiopia . 1,408km
Kigali – Dar Es Salaam. Rwanda to Tanzania. 1,476km
====N-S Kano to Maradi is in procurement
====N-S Accra to Ouagadougou is in procurement
====N-S Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso is in procurement
====N-S Cotonou, Benin to Niamey, Niger is in procurement
Planned but not active
E-W Tunis – Casablanca. Tunisia to Morocco via Algeria. 1,981km
E-W Dakar -Khartoum. Senegal to The Sudan via Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.6,531km
E-W Lamu-Juba. Kenya to South Sudan. 1,547km
E-W Pointe Noire – Bujumbura. Republic of Congo to Burundi via DR Congo. 1,755km
E-W Douala -Mombasa. Cameroon to Kenya via Central African Republic, South Sudan and Uganda. 3,703km
E-W Lilongwe – Nacala. Malawi to Mozambique.814 km
E-W Lobito-Beira. Angola to Mozambique via Zambia. 3,071km
E-W Walvis Bay-Maputo. Namibia to Mozambique via Botswana and South Africa. 2,691km
N-S Algiers – Lagos. Algeria to Nigeria via Niger. 4,111km
N-S Ndjamena – Luanda. Chad to Angola via Central African Republic and Republic of Congo. 2,249km
N-S Addis Ababa – Gabarone. Ethiopia to Botswana via Kenya,Tanzania and Zambia 4,812km
N-S Alexandria to Addis Ababa. Egypt to Ethiopia via The Sudan . 3,600km
N-S Luanda – Windhoek. Angola to Namibia. 1,882km
N-S Ouagadougou -Abidjan. Burkina Faso to Cote D`Ivoire. 1,120km
N-S Mbeya – Maseru. Tanzania to Lesotho via Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. 3,115
N-S Kampala – Bujumbura. Uganda to Burundi . 596km
N-S Niamey – Cotonou. Niger to Benin. 955km
N-S Pretoria -Durban . Central South Africa to east coast South Africa. 626km
FAST TRACK THE HIGH SPEED RAIL NETWORK!
Rowland Ataguba, Managing Director of Bethlehem Rail Infrastructure , has stated that since the Lagos Declaration in 2013,not nearly enough of the continent`s rail network has been completed or even started. He said that too much valuable time has been lost in connecting the railway network to the upliftment of the average African`s life, that the rail network needs to affect the economy today, not tomorrow! He suggests that there are 3 options. 1): Do nothing and scrap the African Union`s vision of AIHSRN. 2): No change and stick with the current plan or 3):
ALL CHANGE. REVIEW THE SCOPE AND FAST TRACK THE PLAN.
Option 3 is a necessity in a post Covid world, not an option. Rowland Ataguba is right, there is no more time to waste. He suggests that AIHSRN be completed over a 12 year period with a 6 month working model. His key guidelines are as follows:
Establish Programme Teams. Pre-feasibility/ Business Planning. Appoint Transaction Advisors. Establish Institutional Infrastructure. Bankable Feasibility Studies. Procure Concessionaire(s). Construction/Procurement/Mobilization. Operations and Reviews
He suggests that the AUDA ( African Union Development Agency) take greater authority over the program, that more control is given to the AU to implement the rail network. Program management teams should oversee the co-ordination of the delivery of the program and would act as third party co-ordinator between State, investor and contractor. The district projects whether they are BOT ( Build Operate and Transfer) or PPP ( Public-Private Partnership ) or ordinary procurements operated by state-owned enterprises, would be more cohesive if co-ordinated by an appointed third party. Legally the client-owner of each project would remain the government who would hand over authority to the AU who would then appoint a program manager or management team tasked with delivering the project. Each region should be overseen in a regional capacity.
Rowland Ataguba`s interview with Railways Africa Magazine
The timescale of this proposal is possible when we consider what China has achieved in the last 12 years with its high speed railway network. The African Union proposes that AIHSRN be completed by 2063. Africa simply does not have that long to waste before realization of the transformative changes that an integrated railway network will provide to the entire African economy.
The importance of constructing high speed railway as oppose to standard gauge is discussed in detail in THIS article by David Cherry and Philip Tsokolibane, EIR June 28, 2019, `African High-Speed Rail Finance Requires LaRouche Four-Power Pact`. Also discussed in detail is the Hamiltonian Credit system and the necessity of an international collaboration to fix, not just the African economy, but the world economy.
It must be noted that an inter-continental railway network, like most African mega-infrastructure projects, is not a novel concept. Most of the mega projects were on the drawing boards in the 1970s! The shocking lapse in progress is attributable to IMF policy.
to be continued
Part 2 Buhari`s Nigeria Leads the Way