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The Welding Federation (TWF) and Trans Africa Railway Connection (TARC) Forge Collaboration to Enhance African Content in the Manufacturing of 24,000-Kilometer Railway Network Across 32 African Countries

In the pursuit of bolstering intracontinental trade and enhancing the retention of value within Africa, various stakeholders are actively seeking avenues for collaboration to realize the vision of a unified African market. Notably, The Welding Federation (TWF) and Trans Africa Railway Connection (TARC Ltd) have cemented their partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) focused on managing African content in welding and related services for the ambitious TARC project.

TWF, a pan-African organization headquartered in South Africa, is committed to fostering indigenous welding capabilities within the African region to cater to the manufacturing needs of its industries. With membership spanning across the continent, TARC stands as a transformative project aiming to connect corridors across 32 African countries, presenting vast employment opportunities totaling an average of 100,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, along the connected routes.

Beyond its significant employment prospects, the TARC infrastructure offers substantial investment opportunities with assured returns over medium- to long-term durations, particularly as intra-African trade deepens. Chukwuma Magnus Nwakama, Project Director of TARC, underscores the significance of the MOU, highlighting its alignment with the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the broader vision outlined in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Dr. Hamed Abdel-Aleem, the newly appointed President of The Welding Federation, lauds the collaboration, emphasizing the caliber of individuals within TWF driven by a shared commitment to advancing Africa’s interests. He emphasizes the tangible progress achieved through concerted efforts and strategic partnerships, affirming the potential for substantial benefits to accrue to Africa’s manufacturing value chain.


The MOU delineates TWF’s role in coordinating welding personnel certification, inspection, audit, and accreditation of welding services for the TARC project. This underscores TWF’s core objective of maximizing African content utilization across various sectors of the continent’s manufacturing industries.

Once completed, the TARC project, with its 20 million metric ton steel infrastructure, will necessitate the application of both conventional and specialized welding processes for the construction and installation of thousands of kilometers of railway tracks and coaches. It is imperative for governments along the transit corridors to expedite necessary approvals to kickstart initial activities for the project’s timely realization.

Additionally, TWF envisages engaging with the African Union and regional bodies to facilitate technical collaborations between manufacturers involved in the TARC project and other stakeholders in Africa’s energy and mining sectors. This collaborative approach aims to foster increased participation and knowledge exchange, thereby enhancing capacities for subsequent railway projects across the continent.

Under the MOU’s implementation, manufacturers and service providers with verified capabilities are slated to undertake sixty percent of fabrication activities during both the construction and operational phases of the project. TWF will establish a dedicated committee to assess and enhance capacity where necessary, fostering collaboration among manufacturers at all levels to exceed set benchmarks.

In conclusion, welding, as a specialized field, demands rigorous competence, and TWF’s commitment to verifying and enhancing capacity underscores its pivotal role in driving the success of the TARC project and similar initiatives across Africa. Through collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships, TWF and TARC are poised to catalyze sustainable development and economic growth across the continent’s burgeoning railway infrastructure sector.

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