Angola To Commence Light Rail Project In 2022

The Angolan government’s new surface metro project in its megacity Luanda is proof that it is taking seriously the United Nation’s recommendation on implementing urban infrastructures that are environmentally friendly.

The United Nations had in recent times asked that countries look toward implementing solutions for sustainable urban growth that focuses on making mobility more environmentally friendly by 2023.

Angola’s recently launched light rail project would not only ensure less environmental pollution but would also bring innovation to the city.

“[This is] a project of great contribution, to ensure, exactly, that both communities and cities healthier, and also, from the point of view of infrastructure, to bring innovation to our city by solving a major difficulty that is urban mobility,” said transport minister Ricardo de Abreu in Luanda.

The rail which is estimated to cover a distance of 149km at a cost of around 3.5 billion dollars, would be built by Siemens Mobility under a Public-Private Partnership.

Luanda, the capital of oil-rich Angola houses 8 million people. The figure is expected to surge to 12 million people by 2030.

The German government has pledged to help Siemens secure financing for the project.

Luanda is one of Africa’s biggest cities. And traffic gridlocks are common due to a lack of a modern public transportation system.

Despite the government’s optimism, it is important to note that the project would also increase the country’s energy demand.

Angola currently has a generation capacity of 6,400 megawatts (Power Africa – Nov 2018) of which just less than 60% is derived from hydroelectric sources, with natural gas and other fossil fuels sources accounting for the rest. Although substantial investments in the power sector have been injected from the governmental level, capacity still lags behind as demand intensifies with the country’s growing population. This means that Angolans still suffer frequent daily blackouts.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

Related post