The note reviews concessioning of rail operations, as a partnership between the State, and a private operator in which, while maintaining ownership of rail infrastructure, the State transfers railway operations to the concessionaire, under agreed conditions. It examines the scope of the concession, the railway activity regulatory framework, and management of railway infrastructure, and of locomotives and rolling stock, in addition to the concessionaire's staff governing legal regulations, fees, and taxation. To be effective, the note suggests the concessioning company must possess strong leadership committed to commercialization of the rail transport management, in addition to having a strategic investor within the company who holds a majority on the board of directors, and designates the company's general manager. Similarly to many railways in developing, and developed countries, Sub-Saharan Africa's railways are now at a crossroads, facing increased competition, though railways will play an important role in the national, and regional transportation systems, only if management practices undergo reform, and the railway economic role is redefined by concentrating on market segments of better performance than their competitors.
La Mise en Concession de l'Exploitation Ferroviaire -- Une Nouvelle Approche de la Restructuration des Chemins de Fer en Afrique Sub-Saharienne
Transport en Afrique Note technique No. 10
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