ETHIOPIA has announced plans to build a railway line that connects the country with port cities of Eritrea.
Speaking during the Ethio-Italian Business Forum, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance Minister of Finance said that a feasibility study has been launched, and the World Bank is behind the project. The studies will determine the overall cost of the project.
The railway project will see ports of Assab and Massawa having direct railway links with North, East and central parts of Ethiopia. So far, Ethiopia has rail and road or power connectivity with Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan.
Emanuela Del Re, Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said that her government will consider involvement in the Ethio- Eritrean railway connection.
Del Re, who met with Eritrea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Yemane Gebreab, Eritrea’s Presidential Advisor and Head of Political Affairs had a brief meeting about development projects in both countries and Italy pledged assistance in the preservation and protection of the Aksum Monolithic Obelisks in Ethiopia, which are currently in a deplorable state.
The Italian Deputy Minister noted that Italy has provided $170 million to finance development projects. The business summit, which attracted high level government officials and 40 major Italian companies, briefed the delegates on the ongoing reform packages in Ethiopia.
President of Italian Trade Agency, Carlo Ferro who was also in attendance, said that Italian businesses have invested $672bn in Ethiopia and would like to invest more, recently Calzedonia Group, a renowned apparel brand has set up in Ethiopia.