The African Development Bank has approved a USD 1.2 million funding for a feasibility study on the Ethiopia-Sudan railway connection.
The awarded grant covers 35% of the total cost of the study which is estimated at USD 3.4 million. The remaining funding will be provided by the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation facility* in the form of a USD 2 million grant. The two countries will also provide a contribution of USD 100,000 each. The financing scheme was approved in January.
The new railway line will link Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa with Khartoum, Sudan capital, with an extension to the Port Sudan on the Red Sea. This route was agreed by the governments of the two countries.
It is estimated that the railway line would have a total length of 1,522 km from Addis Ababa to the Port Sudan. The route will be connected to the Horn of Africa transport network.
The comprehensive feasibility study for the Ethiopia-Sudan railway connection will be completed within two years. It will assess its technical, economic, environmental and social viability, and alternative financing arrangements, including a public-private partnership scheme.
This line is part of the 2030 transport strategies of the two countries seen as a vital connection which will facilitate freight and passenger movement.
The railway line will help to the development of the region and it will provide new opportunities and support for 110 million people living in Ethiopia and the 43 million inhabitants of Sudan.
The line, which is a missing link of the regional arterial route linking Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries in the Horn of Africa, is an intra-regional brake on the growth of trade and regional integration.
Currently, the freight and passenger services between Sudan and Ethiopia require the use of several modes of transport which increases costs and lengthens journey times.
*The NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility is a special fund established to assist African countries.