Backgrounder: Major China-Africa infrastructure cooperation projects

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Date: Mar. 25, 2017
Publisher: COMTEX News Network, Inc.
Document Type: Article
Length: 786 words

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BEIJING, Mar 25, 2017 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The development of China-Africa relations has picked up speed since the country put forward a notion on its policy towards the continent four years ago, with their major infrastructure cooperation projects gaining momentum.

During a visit to Africa in March 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed developing relations with Africa with sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith.

At the second summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in December 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, China announced that it would roll out 10 major plans to boost cooperation with Africa in the coming three years, in areas including infrastructure.

The following is a brief introduction of the two sides' major infrastructure cooperation projects which have drawn worldwide attention.

Lobito-Luau railway in Angola

In February 2015, a 1,344-km railroad project spanning Angola was completed and put into operation.

The line, built by China Railway Construction Corporation Limited, boasts the fastest traveling speed in Angola and serves as a significant economic corridor in the country.

The railway, linking the coastal city of Lobito in the west and Luau city that borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the second longest railway built by a Chinese company for Africa after the Tanzania-Zambia Railway.

Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT) in Ethiopia

The electrified AA-LRT was the first light railway in Africa with two lines with a total length of 34 km. The project, built by China Railway Group Limited, became operational in September 2015.

The rail service, estimated to transport about 60,000 passengers per day, helps ease people's travels in the Ethiopian capital.

Kigamboni Bridge in Tanzania

The bridge, built by China Railway Construction Engineering Group and China Railway Major Bridge Group, was inaugurated in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

The 680-meter-long bridge, the first of its kind in eastern and central Africa, connects Dar es Salaam's business district with Kigamboni Creek.

The bridge, 32 meters wide, has six lanes, three in each direction. It also has two 2.5-meter-wide pedestrian and cyclist lanes, one on each side.

The 135 million-U.S.-dollar project funded by the Tanzanian government and the National Social Security Fund is expected to contribute to the country's economic growth.

Abuja-Kaduna railway in Nigeria

The railway, built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, covers a distance of 186.5 km and links the capital city of Abuja and the northwestern state of Kaduna. It has nine stations and a designed speed of 150 km per hour.

Built in 2011, the railway became operational in July 2016. It is part of Nigeria's railway modernization initiative aimed at replacing the existing narrow gauge system with the wider standard gauge system while allowing high-speed train operations on the railway network.

Ethio-Djibouti railway

The 752.7-km railway linking the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the port of Djibouti was inaugurated in October 2016.

The railway, with a designed speed of 120 km per hour, is Africa's first modern electrified railway. It is expected to help landlocked Ethiopia improve access to the sea and speed up a burgeoning industrialization process.

It took six years to complete the construction of the railway, which was implemented by China Railway Group Limited and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, with a total investment of 4 billion dollars.

Tanzania-Zambia railway

China, Zambia and Tanzania will work to revitalize the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, built with Chinese assistance in the 1970s as a monument to the China-Africa friendship.

Through a comprehensive reform of the management system, effectively linking the railway to ports, and building an industrial economic belt along the railway, it is hoped that the 1,860-km railway line will gain renewed vigor and help Tanzania, Zambia and other African countries realize independent and sustainable development.

Pointe Noire special economic zone

As a vital embodiment of enhanced China-Africa cooperation, China would help the Republic of Congo build a special economic zone in the harbor city Pointe Noire, in an effort to turn it into a flagship program for China-Africa production capacity cooperation and a model project for Africa's intensive development.

Garissa power plant

To encourage renewable energy and support the alleviation of poisonous gas emissions, China and Kenya jointly launched the construction of a 50-megawatt PV power plant in northeast Kenya's Garissa County in September 2016.

The project was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, which provided a concessional loan of 13 billion KES (135 million dollars) for the largest PV power plant in east Africa.

According to the project's Chinese contractor, China's Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC), the plant, upon completion, will generate more than 7,600 kilowatt-hours of power each year and reduce a yearly carbon dioxide emission of 64,190 tons.


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