ETHIOPIA: Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien has begun talks with Kuwait-based Fuad Algarim Group with a view to awarding a 20-year concession to operate the 781 km metre gauge line linking Addis Abeba and the port of Djibouti.

A previous concessioning proposal by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti attracted nine bidders. South Africa's Comazar was selected as the winner, but the contract signing planned for mid-2007 did not go ahead (RG 9.07 p536).

A €50m grant from the European Development Fund is financing rehabilitation of 114 km of the track by the Italian-based Consta consortium. Work commenced last July and is due for completion in June 2009.