The Dakar to Bamako Railway Project

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The Dakar to Bamako Railway Project is a planned renovation of the railway line stretching over 1200 kilometers from the Capital of Mali to the capital of Dakar in Senegal. The railway was first built a century ago by the French to open up the interior of Mali to trade.

The China Railway Corporation in 2020 signed an agreement with both countries to carry out the renovation works for the Dakar to Bamako Railway. The contracts were for a sum of US$2billion with Mali and US$1.2 billion with Senegal.

The Dakar to Bamako renovation works entail the conversion of the line to an SGR from the old metre gauge railway, acquisition of new rolling stock as well as signaling.

The railway stopped operating in 2010 after falling into disrepair

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Reported in February 2015

Chinese companies to undertake US$9.5bn Dakar to Bamako Railway Project.

The government of Mali has entered a US$11bn-worth contract with Chinese companies to help in boosting Mali’s economy and service delivery to its citizens. The signing, which was apprehended in Tianjin, China during the World economy forum, will see the country upgrade the already existing railway linking Mali to Senegal.

The railway construction project, which begins in a year’s time, will be undertaken by two Chinese civil engineering companies namely China Railway Engineering Corporation and China Railway Construction Corporation. The two companies now have one year to submit detailed proposals to see Chinese banks fund the projects in the involved countries.

In details, the railway project will involve the upgrading of the existing 1230km meter-gauge line from Dakar – the capital of Senegal – to Bamako in Mali, a project estimated to cost US$1.5bn.  This railway construction will be rehabilitated by the china Railway construction corporation.

Meanwhile, the China Railway Engineering Corporation will be working on building the entire new standard gauge line linking Bamako to the port of Conakry which is in Guinea to Mali a route length of approximately 920km to cost US$8bn in this case.

The improved transport in Mali will attract investors to explore resources such as iron ore, bauxite and uranium that are bulkier and more costly to transport than gold.

The non-binding MoU with the Chinese administration came along with some demands from the Mali’s government stating that the Chinese government should be willing to assist them in curbing the deadly Ebola virus which has claimed nearly 4,000 people and sidetracked regional trade, though the virus has not significantly affected this industry yet.