Gilbert B Norman wrote:I'm pleased to learn that piracy has become less of an issue than, say, five years ago. I'm sure the maritime community shares that same thought.
Now again I ask, Messrs. Fireman and Matthews, what will be the traffic base. The Chinese did not build this railroad "out of their humanitarian heart". There must be more unexploited reserves of natural resources needing rail transport to move to a maritime port than has been reported by general circulation media.
Ethiopia is in fact developing enough to warrant a better rail connection with the ocean and therefore the rest of the world. I think it quite likely they will need a rail connection with Kenya to the south, and possibly to Uganda through South Sudan - though the latter's political instability makes that unlikely in the near future. However, as the two lines will soon be Standard Gauge the possibilities are quite obvious. Note that road connections are far more difficult in all these areas. Few of the roads are paved.
I don't think fears of the Chinese are warranted here. China is not finding work in Africa at all easy, as can be observed in Zambia.