10 January 2017

Ethiopia: Djibouti-Ethiopia Railway Inaugurated

The railway track linking Addis Abeba to port of Djibouti was officially inaugurated today following its completion. The new railway, which stretches 752Km was built at a cost of 4.2 billion dollars. The ceremony was held at the Nagad Railway station in Djibouti.

On October 5, 2016, the railway was inaugurated from the Ethiopian side. Trial services for the railway also began in October 2016 with regular service transporting passengers and goods expected to start early in 2017.

The attendees at the inauguration ceremony in Djibouti included the President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Along with senior officials from various parts of the region.

The new railway is expected to minimize the time it takes to travel from Djibouti to Addis Ababa by road from three days to 12 hours. The speeds on the trains can run up to 160Km/hr for passengers and 120Km/hr for cargo trains.

Presently, 90pc of Ethiopia's trade is transported through Djibouti. This accounts to 70pc of the total activity at the port of Djibouti.

The new infrastructure link is going to be ground-breaking for trade between the two countries. Presently, 90pc of Ethiopia's trade is transported through Djibouti. This accounts to 70pc of the total activity at the port of Djibouti.

In addition, the railway will support the development of Djibouti's International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) which will help grow the manufacturing industry. The railway project is comes with a 15 billion dollar expansion programme to promote the country's port facilities and build new airports and roads in the country.

There are plans to construct a 2000Km long railway track to link Djibouti and Ethiopia to South Sudan. And a vision to create a Trans-African railway that runs across the continent.


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