Ethiopia seeks India’s financial muscle for its rail project

(Horntrade) – Ethiopia wants $300 million more from India for an ambitious railway project that would connect it with neighbouring Djibouti, a venture that India backs as part of its “support for regional integration in Africa”.

India has already inked a loan agreement worth $300 million for the railway project. However, the loan from New Delhi is yet to be disbursed.

“The support to the railway is part of India’s support for regional integration in Africa. This is the first time we are doing a project which covers more than one country. That is why we are going through the procedures rather carefully,” said Gurjit Singh, additional secretary in India’s external affairs ministry.

Singh said the $300 million disbursement will depend on how the project is implemented, which is in the hands of the Ethiopian and Djiboutian railway corporations.

“We are just facilitating and working with them on the feasibility study, and from that we will discover how our part of the implementation will come through. Once all that is settled and the project goes on stream, we see no difficulty in periodic and timely disbursements,” Singh said.

The Ethiopian government plans to construct a 2,395 km national railway network, out of which 1,808 km will be completed by 2015.

“At the highest level, India has expressed a commitment to the project and whatever India can, we will try and do. But all these possibilities are based on technical discussions. So the political commitment is there, but we have to make sure the technical discussion goes through smoothly and they lead to practical implementation. That is what we are now focusing on,” he said.

 

Source: dailypioneer(the pioneer)

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