Monday October 21, 2019
By Jerry Omondi
The Ethiopia-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway line has cut the duration of travel between Addis Ababa and Djibouti to just 12 hours from three days./ Getty Images
The Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway has been hailed as an important factor in the countries’ import-export operations, nearly two years since it began operations.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Tilahun Sarka, the Director-General of Ethiopia-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR), said that the 752-kilometer fully electrified railway line is leveraging the smooth transportation of Ethiopia’s major import and export commodities, mainly fertilizer and wheat.
“The railway is showing major progress in terms of facilitating Ethiopia’s basic import-export activities as it significantly reduced both the travel cost and time from landlocked Ethiopia to ports in its neighboring Djibouti,” said Sarka.
The railway line links Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to the Red Sea port of Djibouti.
While passengers could spend as long as three days between the two locations, the railway line has cut that duration to just 12 hours.
Sarka underscored the railway’s achievements over the past one and a half years, with particular emphasis on easing the pressure in transporting the much-needed imported agricultural and food security inputs, mainly fertilizer and wheat, from ports in Djibouti all the way to the Lebu Railway Station on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Figures from ERD show that the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway has been able to carry more than 70,000 tons of fertilizer from the Djibouti port to Ethiopia over the past few months.
Built by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the railways is a conspicuous landmark of China-Africa cooperation.
Experts say it has had significant contribution to the economic integration between Djibouti and Ethiopia.