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Ethiopia to Launch Africa’s First Electric Rail



Ethiopia Electric RailEthiopia will on Wednesday launch Africa’s first modern electrified railway line which will link the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa with  the port of Djibouti.

The full length of the railway is 752.7 kilometers, with a designed speed of 120 km per hour.

With a total investment of $4 billion, it is was built by China Railway Group and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

“The railway is constructed on the basis of Chinese railway technology standards while taking into account the national conditions of Ethiopia and Djibouti,” said Zeng Deli, a project manager of the China Railway Group, to Xinhua.

It was designed and constructed in a most economical way, taking only six years for its final completion, which should be viewed as some kind of miracle even in China, Zeng said.

The modern standard-gauge Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway runs parallel to a decrepit meter-gauge version built over 100 years ago by Europeans.

Over 90% of Ethiopia’s imports and exports, in particular energy and food, are made via the sea port of Djibouti.

The capacity of the current road system has long been overwhelmed.

When the new railway becomes operational, transport time from Djibouti to the Ethiopian capital will be reduced from 7 days to ten hours.

Besides faster transport, the Chinese firms have an even greater ambition. That is, the railway will serve as a catalyst for Ethiopia’s national economic development.

The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway is only one of many major projects currently under way in the framework of China-Africa cooperation.

For the Chinese contractors, the construction of a railway with a designed speed of 120 km per hour is not difficult. But it takes nothing short of a great feat to complete it with no compromise on quality and timeliness when there are inadequate construction materials and technical staff in Ethiopia.

With careful planning and patient coordination, the Chinese firms managed to make sure construction materials imported from abroad arrived on time. To ensure good quality and no delay in construction, they even took the pains to manufacture the materials themselves, despite their higher cost.

For the Chinese firms, a lack of local technical personnel with adequate railway technology knowledge is a more serious problem.

For example, it took 20,000 workers to complete a specific section of the railway, and it would be impossible to have the posts filled all by Chinese, said Fu Xun, another project manager with the China Railway Group.

To tackle the challenge, the Chinese firms made the training of local technical workers a daily routine of their operations in Ethiopia. For the past few years, more than 15,000 local workers went through various training programs, thus ensuring enough manpower for railway construction and a talent reserve for future management of railway operations.

To protect its precious wildlife resources along the railway, the Ethiopian government set a high environmental protection protocol. To meet these high ecological standards, the Chinese companies did their best not to alter the original landscape along the railway.

They also spent more than $4 million to build overpasses specially designed for safe animal crossover.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Prince

    October 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    This is it. $4billion. Yet people have embezzled more than $500billion from our very own country. Madam Diezani’s loot alone can transform the whole of this country but look at us.

    • danny yu

      October 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Funny how the only way to relate to Ethiopia achievement Nigeria has to boast her own corruption track record! And this will be the testimony on judgment day Aswell! shameful but ordained by God

      just compare the honesty in the faces of Nigerian and Honesty in the faces of Ethiopians, Nigeria and her children are alike are sons of gluttony! This also aids to explain how a country like Congo can be totaly millitarily dominated by a neighboring 1/10 her size Nd half her own Gdp! I would call for change! But we are never going to change and we know it! So this is just revelation!

  2. omosi

    October 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    To think this is the same company working on the Lagos railway line that is taking forever. I remember in 2010 when they started, 6years down and still not major progress. Our government has failed us. With the billions stolen from government still nothing works Shameful

    • Toyosi

      October 4, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      yes it’s the same company, The reason why the project might not be done yet is because they (CCECC) haven’t been paid by the government. who i their right minds will work and not get paid? I Believe the govt or some officials in would also have taken from the money meant for said project.

  3. Chrome

    October 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    We invite our fellow African brothers and sisters to stop by while in transit on Ethiopian airlines. Take the Chinese built Metro and explore Addis Ababa and travel on the newly Chinese built railway to Dire Dawa.

    This land is your land, explore Ethiopia. We love Nigerians, our airline is nothing without you, our most valued passengers.

    • Prince

      October 4, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      I no blame you. Nah we be your most valued customers. No be your fault you hear. As we never enter train before make we drop for Addis Ababa just to enter train. Chai, Naija, dis people don see us finish.

  4. Julius

    October 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I hope Nigeria leaders will learn something from Ethiopia. The world order has moved beyond manual ways of living. Money is meant to be spent to improve lives and sustainance.. Yet all Nigeria politicians want is to pocket those money. May God help this nation.

  5. nwa nna

    October 4, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Nigeria spent billions of $$$ and we get prehistoric locomotives that barely function yet the FGN beats its chest like they really accomplished something major. And Ethiopia, a nation that’s a fraction of the size of Nigeria with a fraction of the natural resources Nigeria has spends billions of $$$ and deploy electric rail system..
    Can someone please explain what the fvck is going on in Nigeria?! Oh, let me guess, they’ve have leaders that are forward thinking, deploying their common wealth for the betterment of the nation rather than loot their common wealth in cahoots with certain individuals who parade themselves as industrialist and entrepreneurs on the cover of business magazines… And sadly, they are defended by the same Nigerians whose common wealth is being stolen

    • Billionspent on what ?!

      October 5, 2016 at 4:51 am

      Buhari, {the northener!) has decided to adopt the popular hausa/fullani mentality that everything they own, all the wealth & sancity of Nigeria would be better stored in Saudi Arabia! —– in a nut shell – money & asset laundering to the highest degree. Is it possible & how ?!

      The best way to steal money from someone wuld be to convince them it aint there! Simple trick but ull be amazed by its embezzlement effect!

      How can Nigeria which has just been named the highest money making country in Africa be broke (Jeez u dont even realise it, the Europeans are actually trying to help u unvail this scheme!)____

      Oh Right! stupid talks about the federal reserve being low, so u dont really have any actual money, u just have a bunch of floating cash receipts, well the securities at the tressury are physical tangible assets! Ask Buhari goverment to reveal exactly how the credit exchange became sooo low, amd what was done wit all the assets at the tressury?! they are not stealing paper money, that is all still there! but they r stealing the physical assets its pegged to! Removing the table’s legs so to speak! One big hesit one big boom, and south nigeria is crippled for a longgg ass time, while the north becomes profuciously rich!

      Very simple rely if u think about it, if u r a minority people of a country, but want to control the majority (As in u think it is imparitive to ur survival situation) what do u do with all the money thats given to you as the head of state! U dont use it to build new shiny buildings, u simply make it get lost! big debt in the wall! and say the situation was shitty when u found it, oh well!

      then u organise with another federal bank to supply the money slowly directly back into your community in grants and loans, lets say via targeted relief and development packages!

      All Nigerians are thiefs!!!! ALLL OF THEM! But the reason the northern minority rules that compony is usimg the Saudi Arabic allegiance – they are renouned the best and most organised thiefs in Nigeria! Because unlike the southeners where people still millions of dollars to keep for themselves on cold day! They steal fortunes for their community! So even God let alone the Arab north wich are the masters of Africa are on their side! Its a sick game, its just one is less sicker!!! THIS IS HOW U KEEP THE BIG PIECE OF CAKE!

  6. Aster gizaw

    October 4, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Wow! Great news .

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