Addis Ababa : The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a 1.2 million USD grant to Ethiopia to finance a feasibility study for construction of a standard-gauge railway link between Ethiopia and Sudan.
The grant, from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional-rate lending arm, would cover 35 percent of the total estimated 3.4 million USD cost of the study.
The remaining funding will be provided by the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) in the form of a 2-million USD grant, and by a contribution of 100,000 USD each from the two countries involved.
The two-year comprehensive feasibility study will assess the proposed project’s technical, economic, environmental, social viability and alternative financing arrangements, including a public-private partnership (PPP).
The railway line will link Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa to Khartoum in Sudan with an extension to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, according to the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).
The route agreed by both governments that stretches 1,522 kilometers between Addis Ababa and Port Sudan.
According to the document presented to directors of the African Development Fund, the absence of a regional arterial route linking Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries in the Horn of Africa is a brake on trade, development and regional integration.
The implementation of the feasibility study expected to benefit a large proportion of Ethiopia’s 110 million people and 43 million inhabitants of Sudan, as well as populations in the wider region.
The project would also satisfy four of the AfDB’s High-5 strategic priorities: Integrate Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.
Source: Ethiopia News agency