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Residents in Ethiopia's capital hail Chinese-built railway

Updated: 2015-05-24 21:16

ADDIS ABABA - Residents in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa have hailed the railway project carried out by China Railway Group (CREC) for its contribution to transportation need and technology transfer in the country.

The Addis Ababa Light Railway Project executed by CREC in the capital of the East African nation has been for test-ride since February this year.

The electrified railway project, with two lines of total length of 32 km, has been carried out by the Chinese company with 475 million U.S. dollars.

The railway has been operating with residents on board for a testing ride on the 9 km distance between Kality and Meskel Square in the south section of the corridor.

Some of the passengers told Xinhua on Saturday that the project significantly contributes to the transportation services in Addis Ababa.

They also hailed the railway project for its contribution to technology development as well as for modernizing the city, which is the seat for headquarters of the African Union (AU), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and other international and regional organizations.

Tsebaot Nigussie, a resident in Addis told Xinhua that she is very happy about having the modern railway to serve the public in the city.

"Now this light rail began serving us, we can get more timely function; every student, every worker can be on time; and I think it is very beautiful and very good thing for us," she added.

Tsebaot said the railway project also helps technology transfer and experience sharing between the Chinese and Ethiopians.

"The Chinese workers come here not only to build the train, just to show us how it works; how hard workers they are. As you can see they build this train day and night, everyday they are working. And our country people also can learn how hard working they are, as well as we can be hard working," Tsebaot said.

Belay Zeleke Desta is a project engineer at the Addis Ababa Light Railway Project, who has been working in different capacities since the launch of the project.

Expressing his happiness about having the project this status, Belay said it plays significant role in efficient transportation and technology transfer in the country.

"It is like your baby being born. I have been here from the beginning so, I feel like a father. It is overwhelming. As you can see, in the city a lot of congestion, a lot of queues; so, this project, this railway project alleviates this problem. So, it will be great contribution," he told Xinhua.

"Part of this project, is it's all about the (technology) transfer. I have been here for four years. So, this is one of the things I have been learning; from the bottom level upto technical level, everybody has got his own share of the knowledge from the Chinese; it is mutual, interesting transfer of knowledge," said Belay.

The Project Engineer also said that the test-ride has been going on smoothly.

Another resident of Addis Ababa, Abebe Mulu, told Xinhua that with the railway the people would have option for transportation in the city.

"It contributes a lot; because these days, people wait long; or we can see long queues for transportation. But after this that will not be much because people will have an option or an alternative; they can use this transport as well. So, it has big contribution in this regard," said Abebe.

"Besides, this is a technology, train is technology, so, technology transfer is very important. It has its own technology transfer," he said.

Biruk Sisay is one of the Ethiopian train masters who have been trained in China for about 10 months.

Biruk told Xinhua the training in China was very good.

He said the project would contribute to alleviate transportation problem in the city and helps technology development in the country.

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