Tunisia is seeking investments worth 36 billion Tunisian dinars ($11.7 billion) in the rail sector by 2040, driving most of the investments through public-private partnerships (PPP), said Minister of Transport Rabi Mejidi.

The package includes 47 infrastructure projects with a total investment estimated at TND 68 billion, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) news agency reported, citing the minister’s speech at the 17th edition of the Middle East Rail Conference in Abu Dhabi.

Mejidi said Tunisia is planning to restructure the companies operating in the rail sector and urban rail transport in cities and districts by completing the rapid rail network project in Greater Tunis.

The government is working on extending the light metro network of Greater Tunis and connecting the Tunis Lake region to this network, which extends over 15 km, he added.

The Ministry of Transport will work between 2024 and 2026 on the renovation and modernisation of 50 to 80 light rail vehicles at an estimated cost of between TND 150 and 350 million, in addition to the purchase of 54 new vehicles for TND 540 million.

Tunisia, as chair of the African Union of Railways, has also launched a study on the implementation of a cross-border railway line. This line will link the north and south of Tunisia with Algeria and Libya and extend to West Africa via the Sahara linking Algiers and Lagos.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)