Built by Chinese Engineering, Africa’s First Electric Rail Launches from Ethiopia to Djibouti

Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway officially starts operation on Wednesday, setting a milestone as Africa’s first electric railway.

Stretching 725.7 kilometers and with a designed speed of 120 km per hour, the rail line will connect the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa with Djibouti’s capital Djibouti. It is constructed by China Railway Group and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC). It was constructed to meet Chinese standards, using Chinese design, equipment, and operations. The railway is said to shrink the trip between Addis Ababa and Djibouti from one week to ten hours.

A consortium of Chinese companies will manage the railway for about six years given the lack of railway-related personnel in the two countries. The Chinese management is also commissioned to train local stewards, drivers and technicians, creating thousands of new jobs and nurturing railway expertise for the two African countries.

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