Africa ‘ready to take charge of its destiny’

Rail­way:

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

“China has stood by us and has been in­stru­men­tal in build­ing not only our re­gional in­fra­struc­ture but the whole of Africa,” he said. “We see a pros­per­ous fu­ture as a more in­te­grated con­ti­nent. This rail­way rep­re­sents the new face of Africa, which is ready to take charge of its destiny.”

Also present were Togo’s Pres­i­dent Faure Es­soz­imna Gnass­ingbe; Xu Shaoshi, spe­cial en­voy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and head of theNa­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion; and Yuan Xingy­ong, vice-pres­i­dent of Ex­port-Im­portBankofChina.

Xu hailed the rail­way as an achieve­ment of co­op­er­a­tion and­friend­ship, call­ing itaroad map to the fu­ture, but said more ef­fort should be made to de­velop the lo­cal la­bor force.

There will be a three­month test pe­riod of the line. To ad­dress a short­age of rail­way per­son­nel, a mas­sive train­ing pro­gram is be­ing led by China.

In Ethiopia, which hosts most of the line, about 2,000 lo­cal stew­ards, tech­ni­cians, driv­ers and oth­ers are re­ceiv­ing train­ing from China Rail­way No 2 En­gi­neer­ing Group, a ma­jor builder and op­er­a­tor of the rail­way.

More than 20,000 work­ers from Ethiopia and 5,000 from Dji­bouti were em­ployed dur­ing the con­struc­tion.

China is a lead­ing builder and op­er­a­tor of rail­ways world­wide. As of the end of 2015, the coun­try had put 121,000 kilo­me­ters of rail lines into ser­vice, in­clud­ing 19,000 km of high-speed rail.

Xin­hua and Agence FrancePresse contributed to this story.

Con­tact the writ­ers at panzhong­ming@chi­nadaily.

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