China rides the rails of Ethiopia’s development

Minimal corruption, efficient bureaucracy, and cheap production costs are driving China’s investment in Ethiopia.

By Elias Gebreselassie

Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Rail project opened last month to the delight of excited residents of the country’s capital.

The $475m urban rail project – funded by China – is one of the most obvious examples of Beijing’s huge role in Ethiopia’s infrastructure development. The world’s most populous nation has also built dams, roads, and factories in Ethiopia, and even gifted Addis Ababa the African Union headquarters, which cost $200m.

Gedion Gamora, a research fellow at Erasmus Mundus University in the Netherlands, said while the relationship between China and Ethiopia goes back to ancient times, formal relations between the countries began only in 1970.

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