F Sep 2012
Ethiopian Railways

The railway as a driving force for the development of Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Council of Ministers has given the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC), established at the end of 2007, the task of developing and creating a national railway network and providing for freight and passenger transport services. The ERC’s aim is to develop a large capacity railway network integrated into Ethiopia’s overall transport system, to ensure a competitive, reliable service. We met Getachew Betru, CEO and General Manager of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation, who illustrated the policies of the Ethiopian government in the transport sector and updated us on the state of the construction project for the new national railway network.

Railway Engineering: What are the reasons for making railway infrastructure building a part of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP)?

Getachew Betru: The Government of Ethiopia has been formulating the right strategy to use to bring the country up to the average international standard. It has also determined a growth in population over a vast land area, and developed large potential resources for agriculture over several decades with excellent policies and further projects. The strategy for the transport sector has therefore also been created in parallel with the above. The fact is that, during the past decade or so, the country has witnessed unprecedented accelerated economic growth in double figures. This kind of growth will double the GDP in the coming few years. Due to the rapid growth of the economy, transport requirements could rise to a phenomenal level for land transport, both rail and road. In the light of these requirements, the entire countrywide, intercity and urban-rural transport strategy of the country has been put under review, to take into account the needs for better access to new areas to unlock the potentials of the country by means of an efficient high volume of transport. The country’s foreign trade also…

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