Chinese Training to Put Ethiopians in Addis-Djibouti Train’s Driving Seat

ADDIS ABEBA – At least 45 Ethiopians are taking Chinese-government supported training sessions to be train masters for Ethio-Djibouti Railway.

The training has started on Monday in the presence of Ethio-Djibouti Railways S.C. or EDR’s Director-General, Eng. Tilahun Sarka, and Liu Yu, Economic and Commercial minister-counselor at the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia, on Monday.

The trainers are graduates of auto mechanics and general mechanics from various Polly technique colleges. They will receive their 30 days training both in Ethiopia and China, officials said.

Counselor Liu said, last year, about 46 Ethiopians and Djiboutians received training in the same area.

The Chinese government has consistently given training opportunities for construction and operation railways.

This has given eight short-term training programs since the Railway started its commercial operation, said Liu Yu.

“It is gratifying to know that the number of the train drivers of Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway is growing,” she added said.

When completing their training, they will be employed at the Addis-Djibouti railway, which was built with a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM).

“You are not going to be only train masters but also our ambassadors,” Tilahun told the trainees.

The director-general also said the master trainers will be a bridge between Ethio-Djibouti Railway and the society.

Many assume EDR as a Chinese Company, he said, adding that, that led the company to be a subject of robbery and harming the train are among others.

When the trains become fully operational by Ethiopian and Djibouti train masters, it will create a good image for the organization among the society, said Tilahun.

The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway was jointly built by China Railway Group Ltd. (CREC) and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

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By Mhret G/Kristos