Construction of an 800-km railway line connecting Addis Ababa and Djibouti City was inaugurated by Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Djiboutian president Ismail Omar Guelleh at the beginning of July.
Work on the railway line – which will be routed through the Ethiopia border town of Dewele – is to begin from Nagad railway station in the Djibouti capital, according to a press release issued by the Ethiopian government. Ethiopia's foreign affairs minister Tedros Adhanom confirmed that the Djiboutian and Ethiopian governments will share the cost of the $4.5 billion project.
Both Desalegn and Guelleh stressed that the railway would have a significant impact in bolstering regional economic and social integration between the two nations. There is an existing single track railway line between Addis Ababa and Djibouti, via Dire Dawa in eastern Ethiopia, but it is in a delapidated condition and passenger services are reportedly no longer operational.
The Ethio-Djibouti Railways company is headquartered in Addis Ababa and is jointly owned by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti.