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Ethiopia offers opportunities for private companies in railway sector

The Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) is offering opportunities for Public Private Partnership (PPP) to engage in railway, with the aim of expanding public services, reducing project delays, and increasing resources utilization, ERC CEO said.In his opening remark on Ethiopian Railway Summit, ERC CEO Dr. Berhanu Beshah said Ethiopia has successfully completed East Africa’s first Light Rail Transit and Addis Ababa-Djibouti cross-border electrified standard gauge railway.

Despite these great achievements, the country still has significant challenges including lack of capacity, he said.

He noted “we need to further strengthen our capacity in planning, implementation, and maintaining various projects as well as expanding existing projects, and building new partnership to realize our ambitions.”

According to him, the support from partners will not only serve the Ethiopian people to realize the vision for a modern national railway, but also contributes significantly to East Africa’s regional transport and communication networks.

“To date we have performed feasibility studies, alignment selection and verification, detailed design, final design integration, and related environmental and social impact assessment works for about 2,300 km of standard gauge electrified railway,” the CEO pointed out.

ERC has also developed plans for Transit Oriented Development in Addis Ababa and logistics parks and railway tourism projects throughout the country, Dr. Birhanu added.

Public Enterprise State Minister of Public Enterprises, Simegn Wube said the government has recently announced privatization of some of the public enterprises including the railway infrastructure or their engagement in joint ventures with national and international investors.

“The summit, therefore, takes place at an opportune moment as we are moving towards privatization of major enterprises and new forms of partnership in the railway sector,” she emphasized.

The State Minister urged the participating companies to consider partaking in Ethiopia’s fast-growing railway sector.

Founding Director of China-Africa Advisory, Moritz Weigel said the aim of the summit is to create new opportunities for realizing Ethiopia’s railway vision in railway development by bringing together international railway technology companies and international financial institutions.

Weigel encourages the government to heavily engage in creating international awareness about the real opportunities in the country as Ethiopia has a striving economy and available opportunities that needs to be promoted.

Some 40 railway and railway technology companies are taking part in the two-day summit organized by ERC, China-Africa Advisory and RDN Global.

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