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Development of African Railroads Is for Enhancement of Pan-African Trade, Writes China’s {Global Times}

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EIRNS—China’s investments in the African railroads are designed to enhance the weak pan-African trade, says Global Times. "According to the African Export-Import Bank, intra-African trade was only about 19% of the continent’s $930 billion traded last year. The rest was shipped out of the continent despite availability of markets across Africa. This is despite the fact that there are 14 trade blocks in Africa designed to facilitate greater cross-border trade and intra-African economic cooperation," wrote the daily’s Joyce Chimbi.

"The main challenge that Africa has faced in its bid to boost pan-African socio-economic cooperation is poor, and in some instances, a complete lack of connectivity. There is therefore a great need for African countries to prioritize infrastructure development, since this will provide the continent with the foundation it needs to support all sectors of the economy."

On June 14, Global Construction Review reported the formation of a consortium made up of Mota-Engil of Portugal and the China National Complete Engineering Corp., to build a 500 km railway in Mozambique. "The $1.4 billion scheme will connect the Moatize coal mining area near the Malawi border with the port of Macuse, reports Macauhub. The consortium, which is equally divided between the two companies, was picked by the client for the project, Thai Moçambique Logística (TML) out of a shortlist of seven," GCR reported.

GCR also wrote that that given the high level of goods and services coming from China, "it is very likely that Chinese export credit could provide the necessary financial backing." The project is expected to begin in 2018 and take 44 months to
complete. "However, that schedule may get longer if it is decided to extend the railway a further 120km in order to connect to more coal deposits."