Ethiopian Press Agency (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Go Ahead!

editorial

Ethio — Djibouti Railway which had stopped functioning for years following being renewed has recently started operation upon completion of first phase maintenance.

As the rail line had been totally out of function for the last three years, the initiation is really a promising move to help the nation further enhance change and progress. It would also further cement the bilateral ties between the two sisterly countries---Ethiopia and Djibouti. True, it would be instrumental in helping the nation save itself from unfair tax and unwise use of resources especially at the port. Hence, maintaining the rest of the rail line needs to be urgently accomplished. The journey is quite decisive as it would play an indispensable role in enhancing socio-economic development and people to people relationships. This would also help boost freight transport efficiency.

As sources indicate, the Ethio-Djibouti Railways has been constructed using the 50 million euros secured from European Union. Not only is this line important to help Ethiopia connect with neighbouring Djibouti but it does also have great advantage of fostering regional integration in Africa. The entire railway network will have about eight main routes that will connect to more than 49 urban centres by 2015, where railway stations are to be built in the future. Under the five-year national Growth and Transformation Plan, the Ethiopian Government aims to develop a 2,395 km railway network nationwide, out of which 1,808km is planned to be completed by 2015.

According to the 5-year national Growth and Transformation Plan unveiled two years ago, Ethiopia envisages constructing 2,395 kilometers of railway line, of which 1,807 kilometers is expected to be completed by the end of the plan period. Cognizant of the fact that the railway line is an important transportation link and facilitate import export trade countries like India are desirous of supporting Ethiopia to finalize the new Ethiopia-Djibouti railway project.

It is indeed an encouraging move. But lack of maintenance, poor management, and lack of commercial focus that are attributable to the deteriorated stance of the railway industry have to be met. To this end, the government is relentlessly working for the successful construction of 339 kilometers railway line extending from Meiso town via Dire Dawa city to Dewele town, Djibouti border. We shall say bravo! Go ahead.

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