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Chinese-rebuilt railway open to traffic in Angola

The final section of a 1,344-kilometre railway rebuilt by state-owned China Railway Construction Corp in Angola opened on Saturday, state-run news agency Xinhua reports.

The Benguela Railroad links Lobito, a coastal city in the west, to Luau, at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The project was financed by a US$500 million interest-free loan from the Chinese Government.

The railway, which reconstruction started in 2004, will be linked with the existing Angola-Zambian railway and the Tanzania-Zambia railway in the future, the company said. Xinhua describes the Angola railway as “the second longest railway built by a Chinese company in Africa”, after the 1,860-kilometre railway between Tanzania and Zambia, which was built in the 1970s.

The completion of the Benguela Railroad reconstruction comes amid China’s pledge to help Africa develop its infrastructure. The Chinese government and the African Union – a bloc that includes 54 nations on the continent – signed a memorandum of understanding on January 27 to facilitate the development of high-speed railways, aviation and road highways in Africa.