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Ethiopia reduces transport time with the launching of Africa’s first modern electrified railway line

By Anita Fatunji / October 7, 2016

With a total investment of $4 billion, Ethiopia has launched Africa’s first modern electrified railway line which will link the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa with the port of Djibouti.

Constructed by China Railway Group and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the railway has a full length of 752.7 kilometers, with a designed speed of 120 km per hour.

This modern standard-gauge railway is similar to a dilapidated meter-gauge version constructed over 100 years ago by Europeans.

According to Zeng Deli, a project manager of the China Railway Group, the railway was designed and constructed in a most economical way. The project lasted for just six years for its final completion, which is considered as some kind of miracle even in China.

The railway is constructed on the basis of Chinese railway technology standards while taking into account the national conditions of Ethiopia and Djibouti,” he said.

More than 90% of Ethiopia’s imports and exports, are carried out through the sea port of Djibouti. With this new railway line, transport time from Djibouti to the Ethiopian capital will be reduced from 7 days to ten hours.

The railway will serve as a facilitator of Ethiopia’s national economic development, the Chinese company said.

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Anita Fatunji

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