The standard Gauge, electrified Ethio-Djibouti railway is central element in Ethiopia’s plan to encourage regional infrastructure connectivity
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (ENA)―Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh have today inaugurated the 756 kilometers Ethio-Djibouti railway line that connects the capital Addis Ababa with the port of Djibouti.
The two leaders were accompanied by Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe and Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Xu Shaoshi and other dignitaries at the inaugural event.
The standard Gauge, electrified Ethio-Djibouti railway is central element in Ethiopia’s plan to encourage regional infrastructure connectivity, stated Prime Minister Hailemariam while delivering speech at the ceremony in the suburbs of the capital.
The 3.4 billion US dollars railway line is capable of slashing travel time between Addis Ababa and Djibouti from seven days on roads to about 10 hours and providing Ethiopia with a faster access to the port.
“It [the railway line] will significantly expand development, and enhance our competitiveness in international markets as well as increase our links with Djibouti in every way,” Hailemariam said.
“We believe this railway line will change the socio-economic landscape of our two countries.”
He said the line will facilitate efforts of expanding the manufacturing sector and help the nation attain its vision of becoming a middle income country by 2025.
The Chinese enjoyed a strong presence in the implementation of the mega project as they offered technical and financial assistance.
The Premier extended gratitude for the support offered by the Chinese saying: “I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to thank the people and government of China for their undivided and continuous support for the project.”
China Railway Group and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of CRCC executed the Ethio-Djibouti Railway project.
Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh on the occasion said the completion of the project signifies a new phase in the successful relationship between the two nations.
“What we are celebrating here today goes beyond a railway. It is first and foremost the celebration of the ability of the two countries to work together and overcome the barriers in building infrastructure on our continent,” Guelleh said.
The landmark project will create huge work opportunities, according to the Prime Minister who expressed the government’s commitment to continue building such infrastructures.
The Djibouti port serves as the main port for all of Ethiopia’s exports and imports.
- Addis-Djibouti Railway Benefits All – Ambassador La Yifan
- Chinese-built Railroad to the Sea: Part of Ethiopia’s Ongoing Effort to Remake Itself