A new Chinese-funded electric railway means cheaper and more reliable transportation of goods between Djibouti, a major port, and Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The railway link will cut the journey from three days to just 12 hours, delivering freight cargo and offering passenger transportation. The railway line is part of a 5,000km rail project set to improve Ethiopia’s economic potential.
Ethiopia’s economy has expanded 9.6% in 2015 from the previous year. This GDP expansion combined with a growing urban population is driving infrastructural changes to meet projected demand. By 2020 it was projected that 8,000 trucks a day could be leaving Djibouti port for Ethiopia. The new electric railway offers to reduce emissions while making foreign trade easier, and boosting the economy further. The railway link could also improve access to humanitarian aid, while delivering vital resources for agriculture to areas deeply affected by drought.