Railway across Lake Nasser to connect Cairo with Khartoum
A new suspension bridge across Lake Nasser will connect Egypt to Sudan by train as part of a touted Cairo-Cape Town railway line, said Egypt’s minister of transportation.
Speaking at the Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) African Forum over the weekend, bringing in officials from 34 African nations, Egypt Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said that Cairo was working with Sudanese counterparts to connect their two capitals by rail.
Part of these plans includes the construction of a new railway bridge stretching from Aswan in southern Egypt across Lake Nasser to Wadi Kalfa. The train line will then extend to Abou Hamd and later to Khartoum, according to the plans.
El Wazir said at Friday's forum that the railway line is being built to facilitate the export of Egyptian goods to Sudan and across Africa to "boost [Egypt's] connectivity" with the rest of the continent, according to Arab News.
The Egypt-Sudan rail line, which stretches over 283 kilometres, will be constructed by a French company as well as a number of Egyptian firms, according to allAfrica.
The Egyptian government is also working with Libyan officials to extend a railway line from Egypt to the city of Benghazi.
During the forum, Wazi said that a recent jump in Egypt's road quality rankings, from 118th in 2014 to 28th in 2019 according to Global Competitiveness Reports cited in Egypt Independent, is evidence of his country's commitment to improving infrastructure to facilitate continent-wide development.
"We have to achieve radical industrial transformation changing the African economic structure," said the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli who also attended the forum.
Faith in Egypt's rail infrastructure has been badly damaged by a series of train crashes with many pointing to negligence and underfunding for the disasters.