ETHIOPIA: Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn laid a ceremonial foundation stone for the Mek'ele – Weldiya/Hara Gebeya railway project on February 18.
The 220 km electrified mixed-traffic route is being built by China Communications Construction Co under a US$1·5bn contract. At Weldiya it will connect with future lines south to Awash and east to the new port of Tadjoura in neighbouring Djibouti, providing Ethiopia with a second outlet to the sea.
Guests at the ceremony included President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud of Somalia. Hailemariam said the railway project ‘is very significant both socially and economically’, and would intensify progress towards regional integration in the Horn of Africa.
- A protocol on power supplies for cross-border railways has been signed by Ethiopia and Djibouti.