Africa ‘ready to take charge of its destiny’
“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.