Senegal regional express railway opens

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Flagship project within the ‘Emerging Senegal Plan’ opened by the president. Phase two of the plan is now set to begin.  

The president of Senegal, Macky Sall, has opened the Regional Express Train (TER) service at an inauguration ceremony in the city of Diamniadio.

This express project was the single largest part of phase one of the Emerging Senegal Plan, which has been backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the French Development Agency, the French Treasury and the State of Senegal. The plan is the president’s programme to get Senegal on the path to development over the coming decades while tackling historic inequalities and social injustice. 

The Senegalese head of state welcomed the introduction of the Regional Express Train, labelling it a “revolution in the development of the public and urban transport sector,” and saying that “Senegal is ushering in a new era in its modern railway history, with the start of commercial operation of the TER, five years after the start of its work.”

The project was created to help restructure the urban transport system to promote economic development, redevelopment and rebalancing of urban space in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. It aligns to the Blaise Diagne international airport and supports plans for the new modern city at Diamniadio, which aims to relieve pressure on Dakar which is home to around a quarter of Senegal’s population.

Yacine Fal, acting vice president of the AfDB, in charge of regional development, integration and service delivery, said: “The African Development Bank is a key partner of Senegal and I reiterate its full support for the Emerging Senegal Plan as it is fully consistent with the Bank’s high5 priorities, for the development of Africa. I am pleased to note that the African Development Bank Group has contributed more than CFAF 685 billion to the financing of the first phase of the Emerging Senegal Plan. Our presence at this ceremony is therefore a demonstration of the Bank’s unwavering commitment to supporting the development efforts undertaken by your government.”

The AfDB also approved at the end of 2021, €162m to Senegal for the implementation of Phase I of a programme to open up agricultural and mining areas in the north of the country. And will play a significant role in supporting phase two of the Emerging Senegal Plan.