23 June 2009

African Rail ~ Ethiopia Invests in Resurgent Ways

Excellent to read Elizabeth Blunt's piece in the BBC that Ethiopia looks to revive past railway glories. Ethiopia is one of the couple dozen African countries that had rail infrastructure originally built by Europeans back in the day. After decades of war, turmoil, distraction, and neglect, these countries are investing in a railway resurgence. The Ethiopian case is especially interesting -- it being a nascent hydro- and agri-superpower -- and so their plans are suitably ambitious...
"The government is starting to plan a completely new rail system, with a further 5,000 km (3,100 miles) of lines. It is early days yet [but] this would be a standard gauge railway, electrified to take advantage of the abundant, cheap electricity expected to be produced by ambitious new hydro-electric schemes soon to come into operation. It would be primarily designed to carry freight, and although the proposed routes are still confidential, it might -- for instance -- serve the coffee-producing areas of western Ethiopia, the light industries of the north, the commercial food producing areas south of Addis Ababa, and the fertile, but as yet undeveloped farmlands near the Sudan border."


Liku Zelleke said...

Excuse me, but the French built the rail system. And the French never occupied Ethiopia.

Joost Bonsen said...

Right you are. I've changed the blog post thanks to you.