China to build major new African railway from Mali to the coast
Chinese state-owned rail giant China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has signed agreements together worth approximately $2.7bn
to build a modern railway between landlocked Mali and the West African coast via neighbouring Senegal.
The 1,286-km line would connect Mali’s capital Bamako to Senegal’s port city of Dakar, and could be built within four years, CRCC announced at the end of December.
Mali’s section of 640 km would cost $1.47bn while Senegal’s section, of roughly the same length, would cost $1.25bn, CRCC said, adding that both governments had proposed Chinese finance for the schemes.
The work is reported to involve upgrading old lines and renovating stations.
Mali’s transport minister Mamadou Hachim Koumare said the new line would increase passenger rail speed from 20 km/h to 100 km/hr, according to Reuters. He said freight could travel at 80 km/h with the new railway.