The China-built and operated Addis Ababa-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway has contributed to Ethiopia and Djibouti’s development. After its completion in October 2016, the railway has become a lifeline for Ethiopia and Djibouti’s development, especially aiding the transportation of imported and exported goods via Djibouti’s ports (95% of Ethiopia’s imported and exported goods are transported via ports in Djibouti).
Apart from transportation, the China-Ethiopia partnership also resulted in the various industrial parks that is helping Ethiopia further its industrialization drive.
According to a statement from the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia has built a multifaceted and mutually beneficial relationship with China, forging a strong partnership through cooperation over many years.
“China, bilaterally and through the Forum on China Africa Cooperation, has been undertaking fruitful economic partnerships aimed at achieving sustainable economic development in the African continent,” said Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu.
The Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway has now been operating for three years, and it has so far transported about 150 million passengers. It is the first cross-country electric railway in Africa and also the longest in the continent.
It has opened up a channel to the sea for Ethiopia and greatly boosted logistical efficiency for the two countries. It has reduced the transportation time from Addis Ababa to Djibouti from several days to less than 20 hours.
During the recent Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), many representatives hailed China’s infrastructure construction projects in Africa.
China has been helping Africa get through its infrastructure and financing bottleneck, and this assistance can benefit regional integration in Africa as well as the continent’s industrialization.
Chinese companies have built 75 zones for economic and trade cooperation in 24 countries along the Belt and Road routes, contributing more than $2.2 billion in taxes and creating almost 210,000 local jobs by the end of 2017, according to official figures, Xinhua reported in April 2018.