Addis Ababa — Ethiopia has signed two agreements with Chinese and Turkish companies to construct a 3.2 billion dollar railway network.
According to the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC), a Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi will build a $1.7 billion section of the project, while a Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) will build the remaining portion.
The Horn of Africa country plans to construct 5,000 km of railway lines by 2020. Some 1,808km of it is expected to be completed by 2015.
The railway network in northern part of the country will run from Mekele-Woldiya Hara Gebeya-Semera-Dicheto-Elidar, ultimately linking northern regions with Port Tadjourah in neighbouring Djibouti allowing an alternative route to land locked Ethiopia.
The northern railway project will have an extension which runs from Woldiya-Awash joining the Addis Ababa-Djibouti line.
Upon completion, Ethiopia hopes to transport potash, metals and other products from northern mines to Djibouti's Port Tadjourah for international market.
The nationwide massive railway network will enable passengers to easily travel to every corner of the country. The government hopes the railway will further boost trade across nation. India has granted Ethiopia a $300 million loan which will cover 665km of rail line.
Since Ethiopia launched the 5-year growth and transformation plan (GTP) in 2010, the country is investing billions for infrastructure and industries.