AFRICANGLOBE – Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Wednesday laid the cornerstone for a major railway project linking the country’s Tigray and Amhara states.
Built by the China Communication Company, the 260km electrified railway will be constructed with an outlay of $1.5 billion over 42 months.
Desalegn said the railway, which will stretch to the southeast as far as Tajura in Djibouti, will further enhance the integration of Horn of Africa states.
“[The project] is very significant both socially and economically,” he said.
Wednesday’s launch ceremony was also attended by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud.
The project was launched as Ethiopia celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Based in the Tigray region, the TPLF – a central component of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front – fought against the military-communist Derg regime that ruled the country with an iron fist from 1974 to 1991.