The 5 largest Chinese railways in Africa

A tourist train started its return trip here on Friday, with its Dar es Salaam-Lobito tour marking the first complete railway connection between the east and west coasts on the African continent.

The Rovos Rail company’s luxurious train, with more than 50 passengers on board, departed from Lobito, an Angolan coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean. It is heading back to Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port on the Indian Ocean coast, after travelling around 4,300 km through Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.

The whole rail line is seen as an important artery that connects the two main oceans. It will largely improve the African rail network and promote regional connectivity by facilitating trade and boosting economic and cultural relations on the continent.

As a part of the whole line, the 1,344-km Benguela Railway in Angola was constructed by the China Railway 20th Bureau Group Corporation. In order to ensure the railway’s safe and smooth operation, the Chinese company has sent nearly 100 engineers and management staff to strengthen safety inspection along the railway.

Rovos Rail is a private railway company which runs train-hotels on a regular schedule on various routes from South Africa to Namibia and Tanzania.

“Between 2000 and 2011, China backed more than 17000 projects, from buildings to dams in 50 African countries at a cost of $75 billion, according to AidData. Overall, more than $131 billion was spent on transportation construction in Africa in 2015 alone, with another $200 billion expected to be spent on the continent’s roads, and another $7 billion on airports by 2025.

The sprawling network is planned to continue into South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, as part of transnational efforts to connect countries within East Africa.”

– CNN, January 17, 2017

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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