New railway lines to link Rwanda and Kenya, Niger and Ivory Coast

To improve interregional transport between major cities, two large railway projects will be rolled out in east and west Africa. A railway line of almost 3000 kilometers will connect Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, to port city Mombasa, in Kenya.The project will cost $13.5 billion. In the West African region, a new railway line, that will take seven years to build, starting next year, will link Niamey, Niger’s capital, to Ivory Coast’s commercial hub Abidjan.

As The Guardian reports: “Africa accounts for just 3% of global trade and African countries trade 10% of their goods with each other, compared with 65% between European countries. Landlocked countries are hit particularly hard by poor infrastructure, paying up to 84% more to export their goods than a coastal country. Improving regional markets in Africa would have a significant impact on economic development and poverty reduction”.

“The Mombasa-Kigali link is getting attention at the highest level. Leaders from Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have been meeting regularly on the project and plan to discuss financing next month in Kigali. Funding has been secured from China for the $3.7bn Mombasa-Nairobi section, a distance of 500km, and construction is due to begin in November.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

image via flickr user DEMOSH.


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