China's CCECC completes track laying of Ethiopia- Djibouti railway

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China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has successfully completed the track laying on the 420 km section of the total 756 km Ethiopia- Djibouti railway project.

The ceremonial laying of the last track of the project was conducted on Thursday in Djibouti with the presence of President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, senior government officials of Djibouti and Ethiopia as well as diplomats, heads and staff members of CCECC among others.

The new Addis Ababa-Djibouti electrified railway is being carried out by two Chinese companies, from Sebeta/Addis Ababa to Miesso by China Railway Group (CREC), and from Miesso to Djibouti by CCECC.

The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway is expected to conduct efficient transportation of import-export goods, which will further strengthen the economic and social ties between the two neighboring Horn of African states.

Cutting the ribbon and being on board of one of the trails for test-ride, President Ismail Omar Guelleh has hailed the project as an important foundation for Djibouti's future prosperity.

The railway is going to play a key role in Djibouti's social economic development and also enhance regional integration, the president said.

Speaking on the occasion, Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia's Minister of Transport, noted that the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project would take the existing bilateral relations between the two countries to higher level.

The minister lauds the project that it would be decisive in addressing poverty, security and stability in the region.

"The construction and completion of this railway project will revamp the already existing strong bilateral relationship between our two countries into the highest stage that will guarantee the realization of our dreams of integration not only of our two economies but also the economies of East and Horn of African region," said the minister.

Allen Lee, Director General of CCECC for Africa Region, reiterated that the newly built Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project would facilitate inflow and outflow of cargos between Ethiopia and Djibouti, which also has economic importance in the East African region.

Recalling that CCECC built the Tanzania-Zambia railway in the 1960s and 70s, the Director General said his company has now been carrying out construction projects in more than 20 African countries.

He told Xinhua that CCECC would finalize all the works on the 420 km section of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project and handover it before the end of this year.

While working on the new Ethiopia-Djibouti railway project, Lee said CCECC has created job opportunities for more than 10, 000 Ethiopians and more than 3,000 Djiboutians.

"CCECC is the largest state-owned construction company with rich experience working in international market. In 1960s and 70s, we built the Tanzania-Zambian railway, the well-known symbol for China-Africa friendship. Currently, we have carried out construction investment in more than 20 African countries," he said.

"In Africa we have recruited and trained employees. We have built several excellent and outstanding teams in different countries," Lee added. Endi

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