Monday, July 10, 2017

China and Angola: A Cautionary Railway Tale

Business Live posted on 6 July 2017 an account titled "Angola's Ghost Railway" by journalist John Grobler.

The rehabilitated 1,348 kilometer Benguela railway between Lobito port on the Atlantic and Angola's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was to have served as the artery for exporting minerals from the DRC to the Atlantic. The railway, rehabilitated by the Chinese Railway Engineering Corporation and financed by sending Angolan oil to China, ends abruptly on the Katanga side of the Angola-DRC border, a casualty of Angola's crippled economy. The project has also been hobbled by inappropriate Chinese locomotives, faulty bridges, and poorly engineered rail sidings.

The author concludes that the rail project "seems destined to remain a very expensive, made-in-China white elephant."

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