Ethiopia, China Sign 1.22bln Birr Deal Assisting Spare Parts to Addis Ababa Light Rail

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and China signed a 1.22 Billion Birr financial support agreement to help the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AALRT) acquire spare parts.

Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and Zhao Zhiyuan, Chinese ambassador to Ethiopia, signed the exchange of letters on spare parts assistance for the AALRT on Tuesday.

The 34Km Light Rail started operations in 2015 to remedy the city’s transportation problem and traffic congestion.

The light rail has been hit with severe spare parts shortages in recent years, hampering its transport services to commuters in the city.

The ministry of finance said the agreement will allow the AALRT to get 579 different types of spare parts for five rail systems to run smoothly.

“The assistance of this spare part will enable the Addis Ababa light rail system to provide better transport service to city residents,” the Ministry stated.

The two countries concluded the financial deal as per their economic and technical partnership agreement signed two years ago.

The light rail built with $475 million in investment was designed to serve 80,000 commuters a day on its two lines in the capital- the east-west corridor linking Ayat to Tor Hailoch; and the north-south route extending from Menelik II Square to Kaliti.

On Tuesday, China’s Ambassador Zhao said he was “confident that these spare parts will contribute to its sustainable operation and development.”