The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Thelo DB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The agreement will give both parties an opportunity to develop, finance and operate railway projects across Africa.
Thelo and Afreximbank agreed to collaborate to modernise the continent’s railways, thereby promoting trade, investment, and economic and skills development.
Both see the urgent need for efficient and effective transportation and logistics on the continent, particularly in the freight railway sector.
African governments have long been discussing the importance of the regional integration of infrastructure projects as one of the ways to both free and speed up the movement of goods in order to stimulate intra-Africa trade.
Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said the two companies were committed to supporting trade on the continent.
“That includes creating capacity to deliver to the markets. With Thelo DB’s capacity to deliver and operate railway mobility systems and Afreximbank’s ability to finance projects, we have an incredibly strong team,” said Oramah
Thelo DB is looking at projects in Southern, East and West Africa, which the company believes are home to corridors that transcend country borders.
The MOU is part of the realisation that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement will face challenges without the logistical capacity to move goods.
“The MOU solves a very important part of the puzzle for us, which is, when we’re doing these big capital projects, how do we finance them? Rather than building our own expertise, Thelo DB, working in an integrated manner with Afreximbank magically gives us a solution to that challenge.
“So, we can now sit down with our clients and say not only do we bring technical capacity of a global standard, we bring you unbelievable capital mobilisation in the MOU we signed this morning,” said Ronald Ntuli, Thelo Group Chairman.