All Aboard! Africa’s first electrified railway from Addis to Djibouti begins commercial operations

8 Jan 2018

The Ethio-Djibouti railway line has started commercial operations for passengers and freight.

The launching ceremony on 1st January 2018 was attended by high-level government officials, including the Chinese and Djiboutian Ambassadors.

The railway, which is Sub-Saharan Africa’s first electrified railway, connects Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa with the port of Djibouti. Travel time will be cut from around 3 days to 10 hours.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Berhanu Beshah, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Railways Corporation, said the railway, Ethiopia’s national flagship project, could be a model for modern transport industry.

Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport, hailed the project as a milestone in China-Africa cooperation as well as in the history of Ethiopia’s and Africa’s transport sectors.

In addition to further enhancing economic ties as well as people-to-people links between Ethiopia and Djibouti, it will make a significant contribution

to the ongoing development efforts of building a new Ethiopia, said the minister.

Commending China as well as other stakeholders for their contribution towards the successful realisation of the rail project, the minister urged local people, especially residents living by the line of the rail to take care of it for its successful and sustainable operation.

Ambassador of China to Ethiopia, Tan Jian, noted that the project would contribute to the industrialisation and diversification of the Ethiopian economy, and also towards successful implementation of the country’s growth and transformation plan.

“It is the first trans-boundary and longest electrified railway on the African continent. We, the Chinese, see this as earlier harvest project of the Belt and Road initiative. It is regarded by many as a lifeline project for both countries, for Ethiopia and for Djibouti. And we see this as a railway of development; as a railway of cooperation; and as a railway of friendship,” he said.

The ambassador has reiterated China’s commitment to further cooperating and closely working with Ethiopia and Djibouti on the railway’s smooth operation.

The Djibouti Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mohamed Idriss Farah, said the railway project would make a significant contribution to the economic integration between Djibouti and Ethiopia.

“This is an important corridor, important railways between Djibouti and Ethiopia; we are working for our economic integration between our two countries. And this project was part of the economic integration, but not only economic integration but also connecting the peoples of Djibouti and Ethiopia,” said the ambassador.

…fares announced

According to Engineer Tilahun Farka, Director-General of Ethio-Djibouti Railway Transport Share Company, the tariff for passengers is 0.68 birr per kilometre. The tariff from Addis Ababa-Djibouti on a hard seat is 503 birr, while travellers on sleeper classes will pay 671 birr for the upper, 922 birr for the middle and 1,006 birr for the lower beds. For VIPs where each room accommodates two bunk beds, upper bunk beds cost 1,258 birr, while the lower ones cost 1,341 birr. (Note: Please check online for fares to other destinations)

Freight rates start from $0.051 per kilometre for a tonne of goods.

The Ethiopia-Djibouti project was constructed with a total investment of almost $4 billion and is the first modern electrified railway line in East Africa.

The project is jointly owned by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti and constructed by China Railway Group and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Latest News

Browse all
9 Aug 2022
Announcement.
ማስታወቂያውን በ PDF ለማየት / To view in PDF Format፡ Announcement
9 Aug 2022
ክፍት የስራ መደብ ማስታወቂያ | Announcement
8 Aug 2022
በወቅታዊ ሀገራዊ የደህንነትና ፀጥታ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ በመምከር፣ ከብሔራዊ የደኅንነት ምክር ቤት የተሰጠ መግለጫ
#TeamEthiopia #Ethiopia
8 Aug 2022
Team Ethiopia
It is to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia declared an indefinite humanitarian truce on March 24 to expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray Region. The Government, in partnership with aid organisations, has since managed to deliver over 5,648 lorries of much-needed food, nutrition, and fuel to the Tigray Region. This endeavour allowed the delivery of…
5 Aug 2022
The Government of Ethiopia Continues to Ensure Unhindered Humanitarian Access to Tigray
In terms of ensuring accountability, the Government is implementing the recommendations of the Joint Investigation reports of EHRC and the UN Human Rights body by establishing Inter-Ministerial Taskforce which is tasked with collating and documenting criminal acts with a view to bringing perpetrators to the court of law. Thus far, the Taskforce took considerable steps in fulfilling its objectives. Establishing…
28 Jul 2022
The Government of Ethiopia has Taken Several Steps to Ensure Accountability Pertaining to the Conflict in the Northern Part of Ethiopia
It is to be recalled that the Government had declared an indefinite humanitarian truce on March 24 to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray Region. The Government, in partnership with aid organisations, has since managed to deliver over 4,000 lorries of much-needed food, nutrition, and fuel to the Tigray Region. This endeavour allowed the delivery of over…
24 Jul 2022
The Government of Ethiopia has Ensured Unhindered Humanitarian Access to Tigray
Congratulations Team #Ethiopia #Oregon2022 #athletics  
18 Jul 2022
Congratulations Team Ethiopia
It is to be recalled from our previous edition of The Brief that the Government of Ethiopia has been working closely with the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa to ensure a lasting political settlement to the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia. True to its commitment, the government announced the formation of a committee to study…
16 Jul 2022
On the Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict in the Northern Part of Ethiopia
8 Jul 2022
ክፍት የስራ ማስታወቂያ | Announcement
Over the century, Ethiopia has endured acute political polarisation and divisions mainly due to the tendency of elites to resolve political disagreements through coercion rather than compromise. As such, the country’s elites have exhibited no semblance of a democratic political culture all throughout. They often resort to confrontational approaches to ensure their interests. Ethiopia has now embarked on an inclusive…
8 Jul 2022
Ethiopia Gears Up for a National Dialogue
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) appreciated and vowed to support the positive steps taken by the government of Ethiopia toward humanitarian access, the peaceful resolution of the conflict in northern Ethiopia, and the National All-Inclusive Dialogue. The regional block said that in a communiqué issued following the 39th Extraordinary Assembly of the #IGAD Heads of State and Government held…
6 Jul 2022
#IGAD appreciates #Ethiopia’s peace and humanitarian efforts