AFRICA: Ethiopia's Minister of Transport Ahmed Shide and his Djiboutian counterpart Mohammed Abdulkadir Musa have signed an agreement to establish a joint company to manage the new railway linking the countries.

The company will be have its headquarters in Addis Ababa, and be responsible for the provision of passenger, freight and maintenance services on the 756 km route.

The standard gauge electrified double-track railway was officially opened with a ceremony on October 5. It was financed with Chinese support and built by Chinese contractors. Operations are being managed by Chinese staff for an initial five years to give time for local employees to be trained.