Past, present and future development of West African railways

Abstract

In view of the crucial role, railways have played historically inland transportation, the West African region still endure to provide an efficient transport system. While road transport has been almost the exclusive predominant transportation mode in the region, the railway is now showing a global comeback. In the absence of a new phase of modernization at the international standard, it is unavoidable that the high demand for mobility of its increasing population and the full exploitation of its natural resource endowment will be constrained. This study presents the past, present, and future developments of the railway sector. The first section includes the brief historical development of the railways, the determinants choices of their location, and the influential parameters for their construction. The second section deals with the present state of the railway infrastructure, operational performance, and railway sector institutions. The last section provides some recent investment in the key construction projects at a national level.

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