Ethiopia Wants to Build a Railway Line to Connect with Eritrean Port Cities

  • The government of Ethiopia has announced plans to build a railway line that connects Ethiopia with Eritrea’s port cities of Assab and Massawa.

Speaking during the Ethio-Italian Business Forum held in Addis Ababa last week,  Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide said that a feasibility study on scale and cost has been launched on the back of funding from the World Bank Group.

The railway project will see ports of Assab and Massawa in Eritrea  having direct railway links with North, East and central parts of Ethiopia. Emanuela Del Re, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy will also play a role Ethio- Eritrean railway connection.

The route is expected to pass through Mekelle, capital of the northern Tigray region, then through to Awash to the Red Sea. The project is expected to be one of the dividends from the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea which Abiy agreed in July last year.

The treaty led to immediate plans to reconstruct two roads between the countries, and the development of two ports in Eritrea. At present Ethiopia relies on a single rail line to Djibouti for access to the sea.

The Italian Deputy Minister noted that Italy has provided US 170m to finance development projects in Ethiopia. The Ethio-Italian Business Forum saw 40 major Italian companies attending the event. They were briefed on the ongoing reform packages in Ethiopia.

President of Italian Trade Agency, Carlo Ferro said that Italian businesses have invested US 672bn in Ethiopia and would like to invest more.

Author: GBA News Desk

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