BY SILVI WRITER
China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) said the ratio of its Chinese to local employees is approximately 1:10 in Africa, and the state-owned construction company has completed a total of 10,605 km of railway in the continent.
Distance between Hong Kong and London is 9,607 km, in comparison.
Chen Fenjian, party secretary of the CRCC, made the remarks as the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Beijing convenes this week.
The China-Africa infrastructure plan, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2015 Johannesburg Summit, is an important part of Sino-African cooperation to “keep improving the lives of locals”, the CGTN said.
Chen said the CRCC, China’s leading railway constructor overseas, has been operating in Africa for more than 50 years.
The CRCC, with its branches and subsidiaries, now operate in 47 African countries, he said, noting the company has also completed 4,800 km of roads in Africa, which has 54 countries.
Chen said the company has recruited a total of more than 450,000 local staffs.
He noted the ratio of Chinese to local employees is roughly 1:10 at the moment, but didn’t specify the company’s total population in Africa.
But he gave an example that one of it branches in Nigeria now employs more than 20,000 local staffs, or 91 percent of the whole team there.
Below is a list of some major railways undertaken by Chinese firms since 2015.
Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, Kenya
China in May 2014 signed a deal to build the rail link between Kenya’s Mombasa and Nairobi. Around 480 km long, the project’s passenger service was launched in mid-2017.
The project, which marks the first phase of a line that is expected to cover a distance of about 2,935 km and eventually connecting Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, will facilitate transportation and boost trade in the eastern African region.
It features passenger trains with a speed of 120 km per hour and freight trains designed to move at 80 km per hour.
Lobito-Luau railway, Angola
In 2015, a 1,344-km railroad project spanning Angola was completed and put into operation. The railway, linking the coastal city of Lobito in the west and Luau city which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the second longest railway built by a Chinese company for Africa after TAZARA.
Abuja-Kaduna railway, Nigeria
The railway covers a distance of 186.5 km and links the capital city Abuja and the northwestern state of Kaduna. It has nine stations and a designed speed of 150 km per hour. Built in 2011, the railway became operational in July 2016.
Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit, Ethiopia
The electrified Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit was the first light railway on the African continent with two lines of a total length of 34 km. The project became operational in September 2015. The rail service, estimated to transport about 60,000 passengers per day, helps ease people’s travels in the Ethiopian capital.
The TAZARA Railway
Also called the Uhuru Railway or the Tanzam Railway, it is a railway in East Africa linking the port of Dar-es-Salaam in east Tanzania with the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia’s Central Province. The single-track railway is 1,860 km long.
The project was built from 1970 to 1975 as a turnkey project financed and supported by China. At its completion, the TAZARA was the longest railway in sub-Saharan Africa. TAZARA was also the largest single foreign-aid project undertaken by China at the time, at a construction cost of $406 million (the equivalent of $2.56 billion today).
Photo credit: CGTN and Xinhua News Agency