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Chinese-made railway to connect Kenyan capital to key port city


03-15-2017 07:50 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

China is investing billions of dollars on a huge modern rail network that will eventually traverse the length and breath of Africa. It's all part of Beijing's long-term vision to drive growth and development in the continent's latent economies.

Through investments in infrastructure. China plans to expand its own rail network by more than 30,000 kilometers -Spending over half a trillion dollars along the way. But it also has groundbreaking plans to do the very same thing in Africa.

"This can help improve the economy, create jobs, and taxes will bring benefits in this regard. Most African countries welcome China's presence there," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said.

Through the Belt and Road initiative, a Chinese-led economic strategy linking some of the world's developing markets, China is helping to modernize Africa's rail network, using it as platform for economic growth and development.

"Africa is an important part of the one belt rail initiative. Once our teams get on the ground, they survey the area for water so that the locals have water. Then we build roads because we need them for rail construction, third we create jobs," Wang Mengshu with Chinese Academy of Engineering said.

Early next month, Chinese contractors are set to complete a 500-kilometer standard gauge rail project in Kenya which will connect the port city of Mombasa to its capital, Nairobi.

Meanwhile, in the landlocked Ethiopia, a 700-kilometer railway line linking its capital Addis Ababa to Djibouti -- on Africa's east coast -- has already been completed. And plans are underway to construct more rail lines in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Experts say a reliable intra-continental rail network will bring real economic benefits to the whole of Africa..

"Africa can learn from our experience. They see that railways can boost an economy.
Now we are seeing every African country planning to build 7-8,000 kilometers of rail
We realized the same thing in China. No matter how tight money is, we spare some for our railroads," Wang said.

It is expected that by 2020 Africa will begin to see the full potential of these rail networks. They are expected to open up markets and provide more efficient access for African goods, all thanks to the strong ties the continent has forged with China.

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