The Addis Ababa-Djibouti electrified railway, also known as the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway is the first transboundary railway on the African continent.

It connects Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, with Djibouti and its port of Doraleh, giving the country access to the sea. Djibouti handles more than 95 percent of Ethiopia’s trade, accounting for 70 percent of all activity at the port.

The electrified railway has cut the transportation time for freight goods from more than three days to less than 20 hours and reduced the cost by at least one-third.

The entire annual freight capacity of the railway is 24.9 million tonnes, with 6 million tonnes expected in 2023. These plans are accompanied by development work at the Port of Doraleh, which aims to increase annual cargo handling capacity from 6 to 14 million tonnes by 2022.

According to figures from the joint venture quoted by Xinhua, in 2021, the railway’s monthly transport revenue exceeded 9 million and 10 million U.S. dollars in October and November respectively, the best result since 2018. The transport revenue in 2021 is 37.4 percent higher than in 2020.

The railway has also created numerous job opportunities for locals, with more than 4,000 locals employed so far, which accounts for over 90 percent of the total staff.


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