Ethio-Djibouti Railway Receives Multi-Billion Dollar Financing

With support from the Chinese Export & Import Bank, the project is expected to improve the relationship between the neighboring countries

The Chinese Export & Import Bank (EXIM) provided a 2.3 billion dollars loan for the construction of the Ethiopia-Djibouti electrified railway project, in an agreement signed on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Sheraton Hotel.

This loan, accompanied by a five million dollar loan to Djibouti, will cover 70pc of the cost of the new Ethio-Djibouti electric railway track, with construction already underway.

The track is 756kms long. China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) is undertaking the construction of the 317km segment from Sebeta to Meiso, while the China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation (CCECC) is constructing  the 339km line, from Meiso to Dawale, at the Djibouti border. The CCECC will also construct the remaining 100kms to the Red Sea port of Doraleh, in Djibouti.

“[This project] will play a critical role in reducing the travel time to the Djibouti port and its contribution to the economic development of Ethiopia is expected to be substantial,” said Getachew Betru (PhD), CEO of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC), during the signing ceremony.

“This project is the game changer in our bilateral relationship and cooperation with Ethiopia,” said Liyas Moussa Dawazeh, Djibouti’s Economy & Finance minister.

At present, Ethiopia is constructing a total of 2,400kms of national electric railway network and 34kms of light rail, in Addis Abeba, as part of its five-year Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP).

“We are always there to support the development plans of both countries,” said Zhu Xinqiang, vice president of EXIM Bank of China.

The old 781km track remains out of function years after going out of service, although employees of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Enterprise still come to work regularly. A maintenance that was underway in 2007 with a 50 million Euro grant from the European Union was interrupted shortly afterwards.


Published on May 26, 2013 [ Vol 13 ,No 682]



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