by Xinhua writers
Wang Xiangjiang, Liang Shanggang and Yao Yuan ADDIS ABABA
Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- A Chinese-built
railway linking the Ethiopian capital and the port of Djibouti
is expected to help the landlocked African country improve
access to the sea and speed up a burgeoning industrialization
The railway, which is set to become fully
operational on October 5, will be Africa’s first modern
The full length of the railway is 752.7 kilometers, with a
designed speed of 120 km per hour. With a total investment of 4
billion U.S. dollars, it is being constructed by the China
Railway Group and the China Civil Engineering Construction
"The railway is constructed on the basis of Chinese railway
technology standards while taking into account the national
conditions of Ethiopia and Djibouti," said Zeng Deli, a project
manager of the China Railway Group, to Xinhua.
It was designed and constructed in a most economical way,
taking only six years for its final completion, which should be
viewed as some kind of miracle even in China, Zeng said.
For the Chinese contractors, the construction of a railway
with a designed speed of 120 km per hour is not difficult.
But it takes nothing short of a great feat to complete it
with no compromise on quality and timeliness when there are
inadequate construction materials and technical staff in
With careful planning and patient coordination, the Chinese
firms managed to make sure construction materials imported from
abroad arrived on time.
To ensure good quality and no delay in construction, they
even took the pains to manufacture the materials themselves,
despite their higher cost.
For the Chinese firms, a lack of local technical personnel
with adequate railway technology knowledge is a more serious
For example, it took 20,000 workers to complete a specific
section of the railway, and it would be impossible to have the
posts filled all by Chinese, said Fu Xun, another project
manager with the China Railway Group.
To tackle the challenge, the Chinese firms made the training
of local technical workers a daily routine of their operations
For the past few years, more than 15,000 local workers went
through various training programs, thus ensuring enough manpower
for railway construction and a talent reserve for future
management of railway operations.
To protect its precious wildlife resources along the railway,
the Ethiopian government set a high environmental protection
To meet these high ecological standards, the Chinese
companies did their best not to alter the original landscape
along the railway.
They also spent more than 4 million U.S. dollars to build
overpasses specially designed for safe animal crossover.
The modern standard-gauge Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway runs
parallel to a decrepit meter-gauge version built over 100 years
ago by Europeans.
Over 90 percent of Ethiopia’s imports and exports, in
particular energy and food, are made via the sea port of
The capacity of the current road system has long been
When the new railway becomes operational, transport time from
Djibouti to the Ethiopian capital will be reduced from 7 days to
Besides faster transport, the Chinese firms have an even
That is, the railway will serve as a catalyst for Ethiopia’s
national economic development.
They put forward industrial planning recommendations to the
Ethiopian government, including the establishment of industrial
parks in key cities, so that better transport benefits will be
ensured in the middle and long run.
The Ethiopian government endorsed the suggestions and put the
railway into a key project category of its five-year national
development plan. Industrial parks will be established in
regional hub cities along the railway.
With improved transportation, the country will gradually
transform an industrial model of exporting basic materials into
one that focuses on deep processing. As a result, the country’s
industrialization level will be elevated.
The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway is only one of many major
projects currently under way in the framework of China-Africa
Following the successful Johannesburg summit of the Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation in December last year, China has been
deepening and expanding the scope of its industrial capacity
cooperation with Africa.
More and more exemplary projects like the new Addis
Ababa-Djibouti railway are set to prop up across the African
continent and further help drive forward the modernization
process in an unprecedented manner.
Chinese president’s envoy
to attend Ethiopia-Djibouti railway opening ceremony
BEIJING China (Xinhua) --
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s envoy will attend
the opening ceremony of a railway linking Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia’s capital, and Djibouti on October 5, a Chinese Foreign
Ministry spokesperson said on Friday.
Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform
Commission, will go to Ethiopia at the invitation of the
Ethiopian government,spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
Ethiopia sees China as a
serious development partner: minister
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Ethiopia sees China as a serious development
partner, says Ethiopian State Minister of Finance and Economic
Cooperation Ahmed Shide.
The Ethiopian minister made the remarks at a reception
co-hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia and the Mission to
the African Union (AU) on Thursday to mark the 67th anniversary
of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,
The heroes and heroines of China, in the 1930s and 40s, made
the historic long march to bring peace, equality, and justice to
their great nation, which culminated in the founding of the
People’s Republic of China in 1949, he said.
"Ever since the succeeding generations, through relentless
struggle, have not only pulled hundreds of millions of Chinese
out of abject poverty, and enabled them to meet their dire
needs, but also successfully put their great nation on
irreversible development path," said the minister.
"Hence, this day is indeed, memorable for the Chinese people
and the world at large," he noted.
Stating that Ethiopia and China enjoy a longstanding and
wide-ranging strategic comprehensive partnership, Ahmed said
China has played an exemplary role in supporting Ethiopia’s
relentless struggle to extricate its people out of poverty and
to transform its economy.
"Ethiopia sees China as a serious development partner and has
keen desire to strengthen and deepen the existing excellent
relationship between our two countries, most importantly this
partnership based on mutual respect and win-win benefit," said
He also stated that Ethiopia and China are supporting each
other on regional and global matters of common interest and
contribute immensely to world peace and equitable development.
With a photograph exhibition, the reception was attended by
senior government officials of Ethiopia and the pan-Africa bloc
as well as diplomats, heads and representatives of different
In his remarks during the event, Kuang Weilin, Head of
Chinese Mission to AU, noted that the great strides China has
made since its reform and opening up process have changed the
destination of the Chinese people, and also significantly
contributed to global peace and prosperity.
"Over the past 67 years, China has witnessed remarkable
economic and social achievements.
"Gone are the days when China was poor, weak and divided,"
said the envoy.
Despite challenges at home and abroad, he said China remains
committed to deepening reforms and opening up to ensure sound
and sustainable economic growth.
He also reiterated that China is focusing on structural
reforms, innovation, new technology, and new industries like the
"Internet", among others, which has provided new driving forces
for the country’s sustainable development.
With economic growth of 6.7 percent during the first half of
this year, which is not small accomplishment in light of the
sheer size of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the
current global economy, China plays its role as a key engine of
the world economy.
"China has contributed to the world economic growth by 30
percent last year. As the fundamentals of China’s economy remain
sound and the general trend is rather promising, we are
confident that China can maintain medium-to-high growth rate in
the years to come, which will undoubtedly boost recovery of the
world economy," noted Kuang.
Chinese firm awards
outstanding local employees in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
China Communication Construction Company (CCCC)
has awarded outstanding local employees in Ethiopia for their
excellent performances in the past year.
Zhou Yongsheng, General Manager of CCCC Ethiopia,
congratulated 60 excellent employees who had been recommended by
different projects in different parts of Ethiopia, and
particularly the 10 Top 10 Excellent employees out of all,
because they are selected from the overall 7,000 Ethiopian
Some of the excellent employees have been serving at the
Company since the Company started business here in the country,
while some are newly recruited in recent years along with the
development of the Company in Ethiopia, said the General Manger
at a awarding ceremony on Saturday in the Ethiopian capital.
He stated that the Company has carried out various mega
projects in China and here in Ethiopia.
"The Company is proud to have such excellent employees like
you. You have contributed all your efforts for your own projects
for the overall development of the Company in Ethiopia," noted
Congratulating the awardee employees, Zhao Wei, Deputy
Manager of CCCC East Africa, noted that his Company achieved a
lot because it has many excellent employees.
The Company and its employees work together to achieve a
success, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the selected excellent employees,
Zeyede Tesfaye, Human Resource Manager at the Company, said it
has carried out various projects including Ring Road in the
capital Addis Ababa, bridges, houses, airport runway, railway
and different roads projects.
He said the projects carried out by the Company have
significantly contributed to the image building of the country.
"The projects undertaken by our company created job
opportunities to many citizens who served their company and
benefited to themselves and their families as well," noted the
Human Resource Manager.
While working with the Company, the local employees have been
benefited from the Chinese experience and they have acquired new
skills and knowledge, including among others in machine
operating, and laboratory technique.
"Therefore, I could say that our Company is not only building
our country on the construction sector, but also serving as one
of the best technical school," said Tesfaye.
Tsehaye Ayalneh and Abraham Gebremedhin are among the top 10
employees, who are working with the Weldiya-Mekelle Railway
They told Xinhua that the award encourages them to do harder
and further improve their performance at the Company.
Tsehaye said, "I am very happy to be selected one of the top
excellent local employees; and in the future (to be) with full
devotion and in very nice attitude."
Tsehaye also stated that the Chinese and local employees have
good working relations.
"I am very happy; today is one of my best days in which I am
very pleased. We have been working with the Company long, and it
did the awards; so, I am very happy and it encourages me work
harder and even to achieve more," said Abraham on his part.