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Public transport: bedrock of the African economy


07 Oct 2010



President of Senegal pledges support for sector

The First African Public Transport Congress & Exhibition, held in Dakar, Senegal, from 3 to 7 October and organised by the African Association of Public Transport (UATP) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), closes its doors today, with extremely positive messages for the development of new infrastructure in Africa and a call for foreign investment. The President of the Republic of Senegal His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade used the occasion to pledge his support for public transport.

More than 300 participants attended the event, including representatives of ministries across Africa, the African Union and the World Bank. With some 3,000m2 of exhibition space and 31 exhibitors, including five bus manufacturers from countries such as China and India, this was the largest public transport exhibition ever to be held in Africa.

The President of Senegal His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade personally attended the Congress opening session to "demonstrate the importance of the subject" of public transport and infrastructure. His Excellency also emphasised that governments have a role to play in encouraging private-sector investment, since "Africa needs a dense road and rail network. Roads create economic activity. It is rare for economic activity to create roads." Addressing public transport operators, he added that "The State must support you.and I will be your ally." 

"In the next decade, Africa's population is set to double and will thus represent one fifth of the world population. In order to guarantee decent living conditions for everybody, it is essential to put solid infrastructure in place and to ensure stable growth", stated Alain Flausch, UITP President. He added that "It is not enough to build infrastructure; high-quality and efficient public transport services must also be created so that this expensive infrastructure is put to optimal use."

Concerned by the trend towards falling population densities in major urban centres and growing urban sprawl in Africa, Alain Flausch highlighted the importance of increasing urban population density and preventing urban sprawl: "Combining high-density urban planning with a suitable transport system presents tremendous advantages."

Echoing the sentiments of President Wade, Alain Flausch stated: "In international circles it is increasingly recognised that the continent to look to and perhaps invest in today is Africa."

Notes to editors:

UITP (International Association of Public Transport) is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries. UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector. Visit

UITP Press contact:

Sarah D'Angelo | Press Junior Manager

g | +32 2 663 66 39