World, Africa

Ethiopia-Djibouti railway opens October 5

Totally electric powered, the line dubbed first of its kind in Africa

 Ethiopia-Djibouti railway opens October 5 FILE PHOTO


By Mohammed Taha Tewekel

Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA 

A new railway line linking Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa to the port city and capital of Djibouti is set to be officially inaugurated next Wednesday with the attendance of Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

"President Guelleh will arrive in Addis Ababa on Tuesday," Ambassador Mohammed Idriss told Anadolu Agency in a phone interview on Friday.

The railway that runs more than 600km has a price tag of $545 million and is totally electric powered, with a standard rail gauge that can be easily networked. It is dubbed the first of its kind in Africa.

"The railway will open up a new chapter of cooperation and speed up the path to economic integration between the two neighboring nations.

"Ethiopia is already exporting electricity to Djibouti in addition to a clean water supply line," Idriss said, adding a natural gas pipeline was under construction to export LNG from Ethiopia’s Ogaden region to China via the ports.

“Two new ports are being constructed in Djibouti for use by Ethiopia,” he said.

Some 90 percent of exports and imports from Ethiopia – a land-locked country – go through Djibouti’s ports.

China contributes the lion’s share of the project’s financing and a high level delegation is expected to arrive for the historic inaugural.

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