Railway, logistics enterprises join forces to modernize Ethiopia's logistics sector

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ADDIS ABABA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopia-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR) and Ethiopia's state-owned logistics enterprise, Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics (ESL), have signed an agreement to join forces to modernize Ethiopia's logistics sector.

Abdi Zenebe, chief executive officer of the EDR, said the newly signed cooperation agreement will help streamline the East African country's logistics sector by employing an improved coordination system, the state-run Ethiopian News Agency reported on Monday.

The agreement is expected to significantly increase the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway's contribution to the country's overall import and export activities, the report said.

Beriso Amelo, chief executive officer of the ESL, said the agreement will enable the EDR and ESL to meaningfully augment their positive contribution to the wider Ethiopian economy.

According to Amelo, by sustainably addressing obstacles encountered across the logistics value chain, the cooperation agreement will help facilitate the provision of efficient transport services.

The Chinese-built 752-km Ethiopia-Djibouti railway is fast becoming Ethiopia's preferred route for imports and exports. According to the EDR, more than 15 percent of Ethiopia's overall import and export trade is currently conducted via this railway.

Official data shows that the railway has transported 680,000 passengers and 9.5 million tons of cargo, with an average annual transportation revenue increase of 39 percent over the past six years.

The railway is particularly effective in streamlining the transportation of Ethiopia's major export commodities, such as coffee. According to the EDR, some 98 percent of Ethiopia's entire coffee export, a cornerstone of the country's agriculture-led economy, now passes through the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway.

Last month, the Chinese management consortium of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway officially transferred the management responsibility of Africa's first electrified cross-border railway to Ethiopia and Djibouti after six years of successful operation. Enditem

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