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The Government of India is set to finance the last leg of the Awash-Woldiya-Mekele railway project, connecting the Northern part of Ethiopia with the Tadjourah port of Djibouti, to a tune of about USD 300 million.
So far two of the three sections of the line have been awarded to Chinese and Turkish companies respectively with the former clinching the construction of the 268.2Km Mekele-Woldiya/Hara Gebeya Railway project in June 2012 with the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) to be built at a cost of aboutUSD 1.6 billion.
A Turkish company Yapi Merkezi Construction Industry Inc .was also awarded in the same month the second section of the railway line project the 389 kilometers of the Awash -Woldia/Hara Gebeya Railway Project. Ravi Bangar Joint Secretary for the East and Southern Africa region at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the project aims to give Ethiopia an alternative sea port to the one already existing in Djibouti port.
The project also aims to help in the utilization of the region’s huge potential of transporting potash and metals from mines to Tadjourah Port as well as contributing to the economic growth of hinterland Ethiopia.
“We have already expressed our willingness to finance this important project to the Ethiopian Government” said Ravi adding that he expects a deal to be made regarding this section of the Mekele-Woldiya/Hara Gebeya- Semera-Dicheto-Elidar project.
The Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) the governmental corporation tasked with developing a railway infrastructure and provide passenger and freight rail transportation services in Ethiopia has projected that more than 2000 kms of rail lines will be constructed before the end of the government’s ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) targets in 2015.
Ravi further said that India will further extend assistance in addition to the financial contributions it already makes to Ethiopia and other similar African nations, by widening its biggest resource being its human capacity with the especially the availing of scholarships ranging from Information Technology to Agriculture sector.
The Indian government has already assisted Ethiopia in financial contributions running in the hundreds of millions of dollars in fields such as Tele medicine and Tele medicine projects and several large sugar projects.
Officials at MEA also said that India plans to strengthen its relationship with the newly born nation of South Sudan by sending its ambassador to the capital Juba soon and a special envoy to the region has recently been sent to Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Sudan and Juba, South Sudan to resolve the multifaceted disputes between the nations of South and North Sudan.
South Sudan has already acceded to The Pan African E-Network which is currently being implemented in 48 African countries including Ethiopia by the Indian governmental firm Telecommunications Consultants (TCIL).
The project hopes to o connect the 53 African Nations of the African Union by a satellite and fiber optic network that would provide effective communication in various fields.
Preneet Kaur Ministry of State for External Affairs of India said Mahtama’s successful non-violent movement origins lie in his experiences in early 20th century South Africa and that the African Continent. has a unique partnership with India based on its fight against Colonialism, Apartheid, Disease and Poverty.