If there’s one thing Africa badly needs, it’s a continent-wide railway network. Africa is no nearer one than it was back in the late 19th Century when Cecil Rhodes first broached the idea of a Cape-to-Cairo railway.
Indeed, Africa lags far behind both North America and Europe, which have long since enjoyed continent-wide connectivity. Indeed, Canada and the U.S. sewed up an integrated network more than 100 years ago.
But Africa may have taken steps, albeit small ones, to piece together a more unified railway system. Abou-Zeid Amani, the African Union’s commissioner for infrastructure and energy, recently said that railway connectivity is one of the union’s flagship projects.
True, that project might seem over-ambitious, given its call for high-speed railways linking all of Africa’s capitals and big cities. But putting railway connectivity on the AU’s to-do list is still a big step forward.