A Chinese-funded trans-Africa railway line is likely to transform regional trade in the East and Central Africa region by cutting through the continent to connect the Atlantic and Indian ocean.
Slicing through the belly of Angola, passing through the copper belt of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, then finally reaching a massive hub port being built in Tanzania, the proposed railway has the potential to integrate countries that until now were divided by a language barrier left by the British, the French and the Portuguese.
Construction of the more than 3,500 kilometers line will include upgrading of decades old colonial railway lines and linking them with new ones, like the Benguela railway.
Chinese investment in Africa has grown over the last decade to become one of the top trade partners with a number of sub-Saharan Africa countries with it helping governments on the continent accelerate their infrastructure growth while it gained access to the continents vast natural resources.
China Development Bank, the largest of China’s three policy banks, has granted more loans to Africa than the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank combined over the past six years, the official China Daily newspaper reported
The Asian giant has funded railways construction all over sub-Saharan Africa from the Kenya-Uganda- Rwanda Standard gauge railways, the Chad-Sudan railway to the coastal railway in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.
Chinese investments in Africa have been controversial, however, in part because of concerns over transparency and corruption at Beijing’s largest state companies. The use of imported Chinese labor has also been a source of tension.
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