“Let's stop criticizing our banks!”

More than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, all the light has not been shed, and yet the idea of ​​the guilt of the banks has taken hold firmly in people's minds. They are even blamed for the double fault, since after playing with fire and triggering the crisis, they allegedly asked for help from the States. This unanimous condemnation, the result of incomplete analyzes, is a heavy component of the bank bashing that has raged since then and unfortunately works against our interests. We are indeed at a critical moment when Europe, faced with the domination of American finance and the dollar, must develop its own financial capacities. The development of a strong pan-European financial sector is therefore essential if we particularly want to foster the emergence of future European gafas. 
If it is vain to hope for the complete disappearance of this bank bashing and, one might say, of the bashing market whose roots plunge both in history and in ignor…

AU called to accelerate African TGV project

Africa's Integrated High Speed ​​Train Network is a flagship project of the AU's Agenda 2063 which aims to interconnect African capitals and shopping centers. Its implementation is an essential lever for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf).  

This is what emerges from the webinar on the African high-speed railway project which took place on July 29, 2020. During this virtual roundtable, organized by the Union Development Agency African Union (AUDA-NEPAD), participants called on the African Union (AU) and the leaders of the continent to accelerate the realization of this project which will support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

For Raila Odinga, the AU's High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, the very poor interconnectivity is an obstacle to the success of African integration. "If Europe and North America could transform their rail systems back when they did, Africa can do even better now," he thinks.

AU Commission Director of Infrastructure and Energy Sheikh Bedda concurred, stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic should be seized as an opportunity to accelerate this initiative. The commission is also open to any collaboration to make it a reality, he reassures. 

A flagship project of Agenda 2063, the integrated high-speed train network in Africa aims to connect all African capitals and shopping centers, thus facilitating the movement of goods, services and people. The increased rail connectivity also aims to reduce transport costs and decongest current and future systems.

To date, the entire African rail network is estimated at around 75,000 km over an area of ​​30.2 million km2. This corresponds to a density of about 2.5 km per 1,000 km², which is much lower than that of other regions and the world average of 23 km per 1,000 km².

In accordance with the AU agenda, it is planned to build at least 12,000 km of new tracks at a cost of around 36 billion dollars, as well as the renovation of 17,200 km of existing railway lines for a budget of $ 7 billion. The search for funding and transparency in the management of funds will remain two other challenges facing the AU.