NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
From electrified railways to hydro power plants,
a number of Chinese projects continued to spring up and boost
development in Africa this year amid blossoming Sino-African
The following is a
Xinhua review on major Chinese-built or Chinese-funded
infrastructure projects that began or finished construction in
sub-Saharan Africa in 2016:
Ethiopia on Oct. 5
launched its first electrified railway linking its capital and
Djibouti, with officials hailing the Chinese-built rail as the
latest testament to the Sino-African friendship.
Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, also known as Addis Ababa-Djibouti
railway, will avail landlocked Ethiopia a faster access to the
sea (via Djibouti port), reducing travel time from seven days on
roads to about 10 hours.
The railway was
hailed by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang as the “Tazara railway
in a new era,” referring to the railway linking Tanzania’s Dar
es Salaam with Zambia’s Kapiri Mposhi that China sent over
50,000 workers to build in the 1970s despite its own economic
Constructed by China
Railway Group and China Civil Engineering Construction
Corporation, the railway features the use of a complete sets of
Chinese equipment and standards. It is also the second
trans-national railway built by Chinese in Africa, following the
Kenya on Nov. 19
launched the Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
Project, being built by China Communications Construction
Company (CCCC) and funded by China’s Exim Bank.
The project is the
phase A of Nairobi-Malaba SGR Project and an extension of the
Nairobi-Mombasa SGR. The 120.4-km line starts from the Kenyan
capital city to Malaba, a border city between Kenya and Uganda.
Speaking at the
launch ceremony, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the modern
railway line would catalyze Kenya’s industrial transformation
and position the country as an investment hub.
standard gauge railway, linking Nigeria’s capital Abuja and the
northwestern state of Kaduna, was open for commercial operation
The 186.5-km line
was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation
with nine stations and a designed speed of 150 km per hour.
The railway is part
of the railway modernization initiative by Nigeria to replace
the existing narrow gauge system with the wider standard gauge
system, while allowing high-speed train operations on the
commercial capital Dar es Salaam added a new urban landmark on
April 19 when the Chinese-built Nyerere Bridge, or Kigamboni
Bridge, opened to traffic as the largest cable-stayed cross-sea
bridge in East Africa.
six-lane bridge now offers a shortcut from Dar es Salaam’s CBD
to the Kigamboni district. Prior to its opening, many local
residents have relied on wooden boat ferry to cross the creek
separating the two places.
John Magufuli has named the bridge Nyerere in recognition of the
country’s founding leader—Julius Nyerere.
It was built by
China Railway Construction Engineering Group in a joint venture
with China Railway Major Bridge Group.
GIBE III HYDRO POWER PLANT
Ethiopia on Dec. 17
inaugurated the Gibe III hydro power plant, which will further
enhance the country’s reputation as a hydro powerhouse in East
The Gibe III project
boasts a generating capacity of 1,870 MW, which will raise
Ethiopia’s power generation capacity to more than 4,260 MW.
Located in the
Southern Regional State, Gibe III has been contracted by Salini
Impregilo of Italy for the civil works, and Dong Fang Electric
Corp. of China for the electromechanical works. A loan from the
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) financed 60
percent of the cost.
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT
Falls International Airport, upgraded and expanded with support
from China, was commissioned on Nov. 18 with the hope of
ushering in more tourists to the country.
The upgraded airport
can now handle 1.5 million passengers per year, up from 500,000,
and boasts new facilities including a new international terminal
building, a new 4-km runway, extended parking areas for aircraft
and new road networks.
The airport is the
gateway to Victoria Falls, a world heritage site.
The project was done
by China Jiangsu International and financed through a
150-million-U.S.-dollar-loan from China EXIM Bank.
TEMA PORT AND KOTOKURABA MARKET
Ghana’s eastern port
of Tema on Nov. 16 began expansion, undertaken by the China
Harbor Engineering Company, amid a drive to become a more
efficient gateway to Africa.
Under the project, a
total of 120 hectares of land would be reclaimed from the sea.
The project will also see the upgrading of the two-lane Tema-Accra
Expressway into a six-lane road to ease traffic flow.
Ghana on Nov. 29
commissioned the new Kotokuraba market, whose construction was
financed by China EXIM Bank and undertaken by China Railway
Construction Engineering Group.
The market in the
ancient capital Cape Coast features modern facilities including
a 200-capacity parking lot, a solar system for emergency
lighting and CCTV security cameras.
renovation and construction is expected to ease congestion in
the former Kotokuraba market, which had suffered two major fires
with heavy losses.
BURUNDI’S DIGITAL TV MIGRATION
Burundi on Dec. 19
inaugurated a digital television project by Chinese media
company StarTimes after its construction completed. The project
has helped Burundi to become the first in the East African
Community to achieve a complete migration from analog to digital
The project will
allow broadcasting of high-quality images and sounds and a wider
national, regional and international coverage of the Burundi
On the same day,
Chinese tech giant Huawei also marked the completion of its
metropolitan area network project in Burundi, which involves
laying 220 km optical fiber in the capital Bujumbura.