Italy is to fund a feasibility study for a 736km railway line between Addis Ababa and the Red Sea port of Massawa in Eritrea.


The agreement was made during a visit to Rome by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had been on a European tour and commented: “We are excited and accept with great honour Italy’s support for our plan to link Addis Ababa with Massawa via railway.”


The route, which would pass through Mekelle, capital of the northern Tigray region, then through to Awash to the Red Sea, would be one of the dividends from the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea which Abiy agreed in July last year.


The treaty led to immediate plans to reconstruct two roads between the countries, and the development of two ports in Eritrea. At present Ethiopia is reliant on a single rail line to Djibouti for access to the sea.


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