IOA Position Papers

How autonomous trains will drive African railway

When Africa's first high-speed rail system begins service in Morocco in 2018, travel time from Tangier to Casablanca will be cut in half, from five hours to 2 hrs 10 min. Here an engine is being loaded onto a customised truck for transport to the railroad. Africa is constantly improving its rail systems, and autonomous trains will be the next essential innovation. Image courtesy: Morocco World News https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2015/07/162167/in-pictures-moroccos-tgv-africas-first-high-speed-train/

When Africa’s first high-speed rail system begins service in Morocco in 2018, travel time from Tangier to Casablanca will be cut in half, from five hours to 2 hrs 10 min. Here an engine is being loaded onto a customised truck for transport to the railroad. Africa is constantly improving its rail systems, and autonomous trains will be the next essential innovation. Image courtesy: Morocco World News. Available from: https://tinyurl.com/hukpyqw

While upgrading national systems with an eye at a unified continental system, African railways won’t be left behind in the next technological leap toward self-driving transportation.

 

IOA analysis in briefTrains will drive themselves across Africa’s terrain in the near future, with the technology available today to make autonomous engines that are safer, more efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly than the human-driven type. If Africa’s rail systems do not adapt to the new technology, they will become extinct in a new age of self-driving long haul truck transportation.

Key points:

  • Autonomous trains are a reality today, but require massive spending on new technology
  • Most African railroads are owned by governments or linked to governments, which hinders adaptability and innovation
  • Africa is dedicated to its rail system, with 11,000 km of new line now being built at a cost of US$ 30 billion

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Brightening Africa’s Prospects

Striving towards universal energy access across the continent

As a growing continent, a key objective for Africa to stimulate development is stable and sustainable power access. At present, there are still over 600 million Africans that do not have access to electricity. Addressing this challenge is at the forefront of triggering economic growth and social benefit

IOA’s latest special report seeks to assess the current state of energy in Africa, as well as unpack the various opportunities that implementing greater renewable solutions holds for the continent.

IOA at a glance

Over the past decade, In On Africa (IOA) has positioned itself as one of the top research, intelligence and publishing firms in and focused exclusively on Africa. The company works with a wide array of clients across the African continent through its complementary divisions, service offerings and insight-driven products.

The infographic provides a snapshot of IOA – its core offerings, mission, values, vision and key differentiators.

Journalists put their lives on the line to bring Southern Africa’s news to the world

Journalists face intimidation and death in parts of the sub-continent directly in proportion to a rise in political oppression in some countries. The role of the media is not appreciated by leadership in the region’s democracies, and is thwarted in non-democratic states.

A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa. Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr

A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa.
Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr

Of all professions, journalism in Africa requires courage; and the reporter, whether consciously or just doing their job, becomes an activist. Intentional or not, his or her work is progressive, moving the continent forward by providing information. Despots are exposed and incompetency and criminality are revealed, while economic and social advancement is celebrated. Even in countries where democracy is stifled, the impulse of journalists to know what story is important and pursue facts is never entirely quashed. Read more

The Future of African Food Security

Seeking solutions to nourish nations in the face of climatic and developmental uncertainty

IOA’s report, The Future of African Food Security, explores the current state of food security in light of the severe drought conditions and what impacts will result from these and the rise in global temperatures. Measures to improve food security are presented and discussed, including campaigns and programmes spearheaded by international organisations, reducing food waste and food loss, and the role sustainable farming practices can play in alleviating poverty and ensuring food security.

IOA consultants with expertise in food security and sustainability provide their input on these matters. What results from discussion throughout the report is a conclusion that a multi-pronged approach is needed to address issues of food security. Included in the requirements is land reform, balancing agriculture for export with agricultural production needed to feed local populations, and low-cost technologies to make farming viable at the family and community level.

Against a backdrop of climate change, African agriculture can be reformed to finally meet the nutritional needs of all African people, creating an optimistic future for the African continent.