The Government of Italy has pledged to finance a feasibility study for the planned construction of a rail line linking the Eritrean port city of Massawa and the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
“We are excited and accept with great honor Italia’s plan to extend support our plan to link Addis Ababa with Massawa via railway,” Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed confirmed the reports.
Ethiopia, Eritrea railway line
Speaking after meeting Prime Minister of Italy Guiseppe Conte during an official visit to Rome, Abiy Ahmed said that financing of the 736 kilometers railway line project would enhance the first step to a route which would be crucial for trade between the two countries.
The Prime Minister also called for enhanced cooperation between Ethiopia and Italy in the areas of development, peace, and tourism. He also expressed his government’s plan to extend support to the soldiers returning from the Ethiopia-Eritrea border following the peace agreement between the two east African neighbors.
Support in projects to tackle food insecurity of school-aged children was also agreed, building on Italy’s long term commitment to development cooperation. Prime Minister Abiy was also received by Giuseppe Conte in an official welcoming ceremony at Palazzo Chigi. The counterparts held bi-lateral discussions during which they agreed to take their cooperation to the next level in the Addis Ababa – Massawa railway line.
Italy has had an incredible relationship with Ethiopia in the recent past. Most of Ethiopia’s hydro power dams including the US $6bn Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dan under construction, are built by the Italian company, Salini Impregilo.