Angolan railways to be partially privatised

10 October 2018

The Angolan government is preparing the process of partial privatisation of the country’s three main railway lines, due to the difficult financial situation facing the country, according to an article published recently by the China-Lusophone Brief (CLBrief).

The three lines are the Luanda Railway, which links the capital to Malanje, the Benguela Railway, which runs from the port of Lobito to Luau, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Moçâmedes Railway, which connects the city with the same name, formerly Namibe, to Menongue.

CLBrief, a news service on China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, also reported that for the process to be successful the government needs to spend on improving the technical conditions of the railway lines.

A confidential technical report on the state of the three lines secured by CLBrief concluded that the Benguela Railway does not meet the minimum international standards for it to be used to carry copper ore mined in the DR Congo mines.

The conclusions of the study note that in order to allow the expansion of the Benguela Railway all 1,344 kilometres of the line need to be modernised, and 2,500 wagons for a variety of cargo need to be bought.

The CLBrief article also said that the Angolan government intends to privatise rail lines in part, instead of simply handing over management under concession, and President João Lourenço tried to gain the interest of German railway companies during his on visit to Germany.

The Angolan government is also considering the South African rail operators, believing that these companies have the necessary technical and financial skills to take care of the three major railways of the country. (macauhub)