On the heels of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, railway construction is being held up as an example of how the Belt and Road Initiative is providing much-needed infrastructure in Africa.
A report in The People’s Daily on May 16, 2017 notes how three employees from the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) have been granted honorary titles as “tribal chiefs” in Nigeria.
CCECC was the principle company behind the Abuja-Kaduna rail line which was completed in July, 2016.
Lv Jing, deputy general manager of CCECC, says staff who spent some 5 years in Nigeria became well respected among the locals.
Construction of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line started in February, 2011.
It became operational in July, 2016.
Meanwhile, in October, 2016, another Chinese-supported railway line, the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway, began trial services. The railway line links Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to the Port of Doraleh in Djibouti, providing landlocked Ethiopia with railroad access to the sea.
The construction of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway employed some 18,000 people from Ethiopia and Djibouti.
China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation sent locals to train in China for upwards of 5 months.
“Those locals who trained in China have since become the core employees on the rail lines after going back to their countries,” said Lv Jing.