Fana: At a Speed of Life!

BRI supports Ethiopia’s efforts in boosting exports

Addis Ababa, October 23, 2023 (FBC) –  The Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway, a vital trade route for Ethiopia with a distance of 752 kilometers, cuts transportation time for freight goods from more than three days to less than 20 hours and reduced the cost by at least one third.

A cargo train loaded with Ethiopia’s world famous coffee and leather products departed from Addis Ababa, heading eastward toward Djibouti port – one of the largest modern ports in East Africa – at a speed of 120 kilometers an hour.

It matters a lot as over 90 percent of Ethiopia’s trade with the rest of the world relies on ports in neighboring Djibouti and a large number of its population needs to be lifted out of poverty.

According to an article published by CGTN, for years, transportation between the two countries took more than seven days by road and the cost was very high. Nowadays, Ethiopia could further boost one of its main exports – coffee – to global markets at a faster speed and lower transportation cost.

Moreover, the railway, with both passenger and freight services, has also reshaped the geographic position of Ethiopia in the marine traffic network, enabling sea-rail combined transportation service under which “Made in Ethiopia” goods can get market access to Asia, Europe and North America with a more competitive edge.

In recent years, booming China-Africa cooperation in building hydropower plants, industrial parks and railways has brought great benefits to the locals.

Huge Chinese investments in developing Ethiopia’s hydropower, wind power and grid network have realized Ethiopia’s dream of becoming a regional hub of electricity exports.

By increasing the capacity of power generation, Ethiopia has not only been able to boost business and industrialization, but has also become a hub of clean energy to export electricity to neighboring countries including Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti, among others.

Maybe that’s why Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway can become Africa’s first standard-gauge electrified railroad.

The railway, along with the neighboring industrial parks, has become a road to prosperity for people in Ethiopia.

And that’s what has happened in neighboring Kenya as the landmark project of Chinese-built Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is expanding service to landlocked Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and East Africa at large.

By Wondesen Aregahegn

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