SARA was established in 1996, as a response to increasing competition from road transportation in the region. Originally, to provide the Southern African Development Community #SADC – with a strong lobbying association to pursue advocacy for fair surface transport competition, to be achieved by the “levelling of the playing field”, between road and rail – in terms of #policy and #regulations.
However, there is more to the SARA organisation than just policy and regulation. Now, the role of SARA as a railway body is more significant than ever before, as we face a critical point in, post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change and equally important the ability to secure supply chains in the future – to ensure that Africa can move both its people and its goods, not only efficiently but competitively. Hence the focus must be on delivering railway infrastructure and operations that don’t just meet the needs today, but that of the future.
To achieve the vision for rail in the region, we cannot work in isolation. We must collaborate, we must collectively find solutions that will transform rail transportation, through innovation, to deliver an increased modal shift.
The SARA Rail Conference provides the platform for collaboration between all stakeholders, including OEMs, suppliers and manufacturers.
It is on this note that I invite you to participate in the 11th annual, Southern African Railway Association’s Conference and Exhibition– come engage with our regions railway CEOs, procurement teams, and of course our various Transport ministries – to set the course for economic prosperity through rail for our region.